My first poetry collection has been published by the brilliant Penned in the Margins! We could have called ‘Gaddafi and the Giant Squid’ but we didn’t. It’s called ‘Forms of Protest’.

You can buy it here



Forms of Protest really blew me away, breaking truly new ground in the process of a fundamentally performative poet making the radical adjustments to the page, with such grace and skill, but also in a way that leaves something unique as a trace in this book”
SJ Fowler

“There is a variety of material here, from the lyrical and moving ‘creation myth’ of ‘In the beginning’ through the listing and punning ‘throwaway’ of ‘Insults’, to the provocative and chilling commentary on militarism of ‘@Prosthetics’ to the intriguing (possibly a cut-up) ‘dream narrative’ of ‘The Plymouth Sound’, which manages to combine a lyrical tautness with a sense of unease and mystery … An impressive debut collection”
Steve Spence, Stride

“It is refreshing to encounter a poet who addresses political themes head-on, who is lashing out instead of looking in. So convincing are these poems that, having finished Forms of Protest, it is unlikely you will be hoodwinked by doublespeak ever again.”
Robin Boothroyd, The Literateur

Forms of Protest is an exciting, enraged debut: you can feel the blood pulsing and can almost taste the bile.”
John Field, Poor Rude Lines

“Reading through the collection one derives a sense of the Kafkaesque emptiness that is contemporary politics. This collection is in the great tradition of radical poetry and deserves to be widely read.”
David Caddy, Tears in the Fence

“alternatively spiky and explosive … an impressive collection”
Sarah Gonnet

Why buy it from Penned in the Margins rather than Amazon

I self-published my play ‘The Disappearance of Sadie Jones’. You can buy it from (or from me directly on tour)

If Completely Novel isn’t working it’s also available through Amazon


Anthologies I’m in:

I’m delighted to be an enemy in Steven Fowler’s new book: ENEMIES: The selected collaborations of SJ Fowler


My top recommended buy is ‘Adventures in Form’ . It is brilliant, but if you don’t trust me on such things, The Poetry Book Society thinks so too and have given it a A Poetry Book Society Special Commendation

Click on the image to go to Penned in the Margins website. Please order from Penned in the Margins not Amazon, here is why.

Welcome to a strange new world in which a poem can be written using only one vowel, processed through computer code, collaged from film trailers, compiled from Facebook status updates, hidden inside a Sudoku puzzle, and even painted on sheep to demonstrate Quantum Theory.

Discover a multitude of new and unusual poetic forms – from tweet to time-splice, and from skinny villanelle to breakbeat sonnet – in this inspiring and inventive anthology.

Adventures in Form features over ninety poems by forty-six contributors including Patience Agbabi, Christian Bök, Joe Dunthorne, Inua Ellams, Roddy Lumsden, Ian McMillan, Paul Muldoon, Ruth Padel and Hannah Silva. Edited and introduced by Tom Chivers.


“[Adventures in Form] The book is a joy. It’s full of discoveries. It marks a new era where poets of different kinds can work together on an acknowledged shared project, instead of dicing up the whole project of poetry into tiny bits.”

“….Hannah Silva’s absolutely thrilling and sophisticated textspeak Urn poem (smoke THAT, Geoffrey Hill).” Katy Evans-Bush, Baroque in Hackney

“one of the most eye-opening books of the decade” Todd Swift, Eyewear

“…The most ingenious poem in the book is Nathan Penlington’s “annotated silence”, consisting of four symbols and their corresponding footnotes.” James Cambell, Times Literary Supplement

“An exploration of the ways in which form makes poetry sing” Hannah Rosefield, Annexe Magazine

Avalanche Books
– I’ve got a few poems in this anthology, you can buy it on Amazon
Very surprised to be included in an anthology from Bloodaxe. But it becomes clearer when you know how the poets were selected …

I was on the Jerwood Arvon 2009-10 mentoring scheme as a playwright, and was mentored by Colin Teevan. A digital anthology was made by If:Books, it includes an extract from my poem ‘Talking to Silence’, view it here

You can also buy an anthology of the mentees work very cheaply: All of these things are true and not true
– or read it online. It has a scene from my play, The Blok in it.

I have an essay, Composing Speech, in ‘Stress Fractures’  by Penned in the Margins.

Stress Fractures is a genuine attempt to reach out to a different kind of readership for writing about poetry. Fourteen essays range across conventional criticism; poetics; explorations of links between poetry and popular culture; and accounts of various compositional and performance practices and strategies. […] It’s a long time since I read a book of poetry criticism that (a) showed me new ways of writing about poetry; and (b) made me want to log on to Amazon straight away and buy things I’d never heard of.’ David Kennedy, Stride Magazine

‘An exciting introduction to new directions in poetry’
David Kennedy, Times Higher Education

‘This is a unique book brimming with some wonderful, and indeed weird, critical minds; I’ve seen nothing else quite so current and enlivening on the subject of poetry available at the moment.’ Charlotte Newman, Horizon Review


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