When I Think of My Body as a Horse


Winner of the 2020 International Book & Pamphlet Competition judged by Imtiaz Dharker & Ian McMillan

When I Think of My Body as a Horse is about trauma, recovery and the powerful, animal instincts embedded in the act of creating a family. These poems explore motherhood and body identity within the context of baby loss, when there is no ‘rainbow baby’ to add closure to the narrative.

Read a sample.

Published 1st March 2021


What Writers and Critics Think

  • When I Think of My Body as a Horse is packed with images of the body in transformation of one kind or another, from the very first ‘nothing to me now / but a sudden startle of feathers’ to the title poem, ‘another thing / I need to love and care for. // We do not share a language’. Through cycles of pregnancy and grief, there is an animal momentum to the poems that gives the whole sequence its sustained power.

    Imtiaz Dharker
  • These are powerful, heartbreaking but ultimately transcendent poems about loss, grieving and recovery. What I found most affecting in them was the way they often look through the prism of the natural world. Hares, rabbits, horses make us look hard at ourselves and our place in the order of things and through the skill of the writer we become somehow more human, and more complex the more we look into the eyes of these creatures. There are many tropes of writing about loss but this poet skilfully and gloriously avoided them all, which is no mean feat.

    Ian McMillan
  • Wendy Pratt’s prize-winning new collection is an astonishing achievement. In a sequence of powerful, moving and quite remarkable poems she succeeds in expressing an unimaginable grief in such a way that the reader is caught up in the unimaginable and begins to imagine and understand. The collection has a rare cohesion and is filled with beauty. Amazing.

    Carole Bromley


These are spine-tingling, heart-stopping, life-affirming poems. Wendy Pratt explores the flimsy boundary between the animal and the human, places where ‘a whole / dark hearted life might erupt’ at any second. Her writing is ‘giddy with instinct’, compelling and raw. She exposes some of the last silent places of motherhood, losses which can leave women excluded and she finds beauty and hope even in the shadows cast by grief.’Helen Mort

Visceral experiences acutely observed. These poems hiss with animal motility. Michael Stewart

In the “wild-world” of Wendy Pratt’s poetry, the body can become a horse or a hare, a flock of pigeons or a mermaid. These poems are transformative in every sense of the word – exploring how language contains and changes grief and how the natural world can help us survive terrible loss. They are both heart-breaking and life-affirming, threaded through with love, concerned with survival and held together by powerful and startling imagery. Any reader cannot help but be transformed by these poems once they encounter them. Kim Moore


Wendy Pratt is an award winning poet, author and workshop facilitator living on the North Yorkshire coast. She is the author of four collections of poetry and is widely published in magazines and journals. Wendy is a columnist for Yorkshire Life magazine, and was the first female editor of Dream Catcher magazine. Wendy is currently working on a collection of creative non-fiction essays which explore the psychogeography of burial landscapes.

Additional information

Weight 0.087 kg
Dimensions 21.6 × 0.9 × 13.8 cm
Publication Year

March 2021




Book, eBook (ePub)