Ugly Bird


Ugly Bird is bolshy and funny and unapologetic. With subjects ranging from public nudity and polyamorous dunnocks to women who run with wolves, these tender poems appreciate human relationships and the natural world, without shying away from difficult conversations around toxic masculinity and mental health. Ugly Bird is tough enough to stand its ground and look you in the eye: ‘I’m not perfect, and in no way do I want to be.’

Read a sample.

Published June 2021

What Writers and Critics Think

  • Hollingsworth-Smith’s poems are immediately and joyfully readable even at their darkest, and Ugly Bird is full of masterful juxtapositions, emotional swerves and perfect details (the angle of an OHP, the plastic tiara prongs). It’s such a skill to navigate these waters with such attentiveness; defiant, ecstatic powers of observation transfiguring the ordinary with wit and self-awareness.

    Luke Kennard
  • Hollingsworth Smith has a piercing gaze that holds herself and the reader in powerful headlights. You're not blinded, though, you're dazzled by a poet who can build phrases, forge images, and nudge the spoken into the literary, leaving you caught in the illumination of ideas and craft. This is a new voice well worth listening to.

    Ian McMillan
  • Tender, tenacious and downright plucky.

    Vicky Morris


There are no ‘fillers’ in Ugly Bird – each poem exists as its own chapter, singing in a different voice, to a new tune. Together, this pamphlet is filled with wit, gorgeous imagery and stark honesty that’s raw, personal, universal. – Everybody’s Reviewing (click here to read the full review on Everybody’s Reviewing)

Additional information

Weight 0.07 kg
Dimensions 21 × 14.8 × 0.6 cm

eBook (ePub), Pamphlet


978-1-912196-58-6, 978-1-912196-59-3



Publication Year

June 2021