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James Nash

James Nash was born in London in 1949, and has been a resident of Leeds since 1971. He is a well-known provider of creative writing workshops in schools, universities and the community, and is regularly called on as a host of literary events.

James’ poetry has appeared in many books and anthologies. Highlights from early collections can be found in A Bit of an Ice Breaker: Selected and Uncollected Poems, published by Valley Press as an ebook in 2012.

October 2012 saw the release of Some Things Matter: 63 Sonnets. After spending most of the previous three years writing in the sonnet form, James had generated a hundred and sixty pieces (more than Shakespeare!) – the final publication collected the sixty-three best efforts, to celebrate the poet's sixty-third year of existence. A second edition of the book, in 2014, added a handful of new sonnets, first heard on BBC Radio 3.

James' most recent publication is Cinema Stories, a collaboration with fellow Leeds-based poet Matthew Hedley Stoppard. Launched at the Leeds International Film Festival in November 2015, this collection celebrates the cinematic heritage of Leeds, and the experience of cinema-going in general.


Cinema Stories

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Before the Second World War, there were around seventy cinemas operating in Leeds. Now, though some remain open, most of these ‘forgotten temples’ have been repurposed or demolished.

Since 2014, Leeds-based poets James Nash and Matthew Hedley Stoppard have been visiting the sites of legendary picture-houses, and documenting their current status with two inimitable, unmistakable poetic voices – whilst also considering the remarkable shared (yet personal) experience that is cinema-going.

So sit down on a spring-loaded chair, grab some popcorn, and enjoy one of the most original, evocative poetry collections since the invention of technicolour...

Some Things Matter: 63 Sonnets

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Since their first publication in 2012, James Nash’s sonnets have delighted thousands of poetry readers and listeners across the globe. Philosophical, satirical, warm and bittersweet, the sixty-three poem sequence spans the full breadth of the human experience; and can be enjoyed afresh in this second edition, which includes a handful of new sonnets, as heard on BBC Radio 3 in 2014.

A Bit of an Ice Breaker

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A Bit of an Ice Breaker is a selection of the very best poetry from acclaimed Leeds-based writer James Nash. The poet has sifted through his first two collections, Deadly Sensitive and Coma Songs, and chosen some particular favourites to be made available (for the first time) in ebook form - along with a sprinkling of recently commissioned, previously uncollected work.

In their new, less crowded incarnation, Nash’s poems speak clearly of his interests and obsessions; these are writings of comic embarrassment, of close relationships, of birth and death. Vulgarity sits close to tender love poems, poetry is discussed with taxi-drivers, while no-one protests at drunken sexual activity in a crowded north Leeds sitting room.

From the author's introduction: 'Though some of the poems selected might be, like me, showing their age a little, I hope, as always, that the words are enough.'

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