Poetry

I have published two collections of poetry. The first was Misprint (Carcanet, 2012).

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Not many people wrote about it, but those who did were complimentary enough. Sean O’Brien reviewed it in The Sunday Times here (behind a paywall): ‘On the evidence of Misprint Womack has scope, curiosity and a refreshing sense of not having foresuffered everything he encounters.’ Heidi Williamson wrote in Eyewear here: ‘Weighty subjects are frequently treated with a wryness that both undercuts any of charge of pretentiousness and lets the reader in a little closer to the narrator’s perspective. Often I felt as if I was being taken aside and told a joke that’s ridiculously funny at the same time as being deadly serious.’ And Rory Waterman in the Times Literary Supplement here (behind a paywall): ‘these often playful, teasing poems’. And Thomas White in Stride Magazine here.

A second collection of poems, On Trust: A Book of Lies, came out in October 2017. Chad Campbell in The Manchester Review calls it ‘a beautiful collection’. Terence Dooley at Write Out Loud said among other things that it has ‘lightning-flash changes of tone and register that sometimes remind one of Ashbery’. It has been longlisted for the 2018 Dylan Thomas Prize.

Womack, On Trust, front cover

I have contributed to a couple of anthologies. New Poetries V (Carcanet, 2011) contains ten of my poems, and led Poetry London to say that ‘James Womack writes like a photojournalist in some parallel universe’, which I liked.

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I also have some poems in the anthology Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century (Bloodaxe, 2009).55a95968d5191

Some of my poems are available online, at The Guardian, The Wolf (I), The Wolf (II), the New Poetries website (I), the New Poetries website (II) and Poetry Proper. I also participated in June 2017 in an interesting study day / seminar at the Institute of Advanced Studies at UCL, called Poets Poets. If you follow the link, you’ll be invited to download a selection of poems by the participants, including five by me.