Very Selected: Michael Laskey


‘Originality of thought and quality of execution’
Robert Potts, The Guardian

This Very Selected pamphlet brings together the best selected poetry by Michael Laskey, as part of The Poetry Business’ Very Selected collection.

Between Two Lit Rooms

Michael Laskey

After work, of ronce, to walk home
not to drive, foot hinged to the clutch,
through town, but to walk on your own
out into the open dark,

the Plough, the Pole Star, Orion
distancing you from your day.
Then down the ringing wrought-iron
spiral staircase to the softer

asphalt of the all but empty
car park. One January night.
Such space around you, such plenty:
a good fifteen minutes walking

between two lit rooms, the split halves
of your life, the future, the past.
But for now a skive down this path,
the ridge of the fence furred with frost.


Michael Laskey has published five collections, most recently Weighing the Present (2014) and The Man Alone: New and Selected Poems (2008), both from Smith|Doorstop. His first two collections were Poetry Book Society Recommendations: Thinking of Happiness (Peterloo, 1999) and The Tightrope Wedding (Smith|Doorstop, 1999), which was also shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize. Michael co-edited Smiths Knoll for 21 years and co-founded the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival in 1988, which he directed through its first decade. He works as a writing tutor with a wide range of adult groups and in schools at all levels. He lives in Suffolk where he runs The Garlic Press, publishing pamphlets mainly by Suffolk poets.