The Swerve


The Swerve, his tenth collection, is Peter Sirr’s first book of poems since The Gravity Wave (2019), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and winner of the Farmgate National Poetry Award.


            Not everything I said I did
            I did in fact. Not literally.
            But if it wasn’t all true
            it was true-ish. 


It is a book as ample as it is confident in its risk taking. From the wit of ‘Border Control’ (reminiscent of Richard Wilbur’s) through the movement and energy of the beautiful title poem, The Swerve ruminates on Tang poets and engages in conversations with Buson and Borges. Its mixed tones range from the bold assertions of ‘A Valediction’ (‘Goodbye, year, / we thought you’d never leave.’) and the positive note of this poem’s ending to the delicacy of ‘Threshold’ in which ‘Chen Zhongsen / is carving two Tang poems // on a single grey strand / of his wife’s hair’.


The remembered and the imagined are bound in a poem like ‘Ages’ while a ‘new’ vocabulary is incorporated in ‘Arrivals’ where ‘the language teeters, the fun begins’. This book confirms that Peter Sirr is one of our truest, bravest and most adventurous poets.

The Swerve preview

Publication date: 1 October 2023
Details: 104pp
ISBN PBK: 978 1 91133 845 1
ISBN HBK: 978 1 91133 846 8

Cover: ‘Fire Escape’ by Aidan Crotty, oil, acrylic on canvas, 120 x 100 cm, courtesy of the artist.

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop