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B Y   T H I S   A U T H O R
James Nash is a writer and poet.  A long-term resident of Leeds, he is a well known provider of creative writing workshops in schools, universities and in the community, and is regularly called on as a host of literary events - including the Ilkley and Scarborough Literature Festivals, and various Valley Press launches since May 2011.

James was first published by Valley Press in April 2012, with the release of A Bit of an Ice Breaker: Selected and Uncollected Poems.  This digital-only publication collected the poet's favourite pieces from his first three (non-Valley Press) books, along with recently commissioned, previously uncollected work.

October 2012 saw the release of James' most ambitious collection to date - 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 himself!) - the final publication collects the sixty-three best efforts, a number chosen to celebrate the poet's sixty-third year of existence.
A Bit of an
Ice Breaker: Selected and Uncollected Poems
12th April 2012
A digital-only 'best of' the poet's work up to Spring 2012; writings of comic embarrassment, of close relationships, of birth, death and more.  (read more)
Three Love Songs
(from A Bit of an Ice Breaker: Selected and Uncollected Poems, Valley Press, 2012)

1.

When we met
it was as if a door suddenly blew open
and you were standing there,
a stranger with rain on your shoulders.
Now we are walking together,
the backs of our hands touching
in the abbey grounds.

The sun shines intermittently on us
as we peer through grills
into the shattered centre of the church
of a long gone community of men
who built this to demonstrate
the enduring love of God.

When I spend considering time alone,
It seems that nothing
man-made and beautiful
can last forever;
but then I think perhaps
eight hundred years would do.


2.

Ambitious for love
I spin you into a filament
with the strength of silk.

Ambitious for love
I make a hook of you
and sharpen it.

I have manufactured everything else
for my own capture
but it is your smile
which brings me to the surface.

It is an easy mistake.

This time somehow
I recognise my danger with seconds to spare
and draw back
not ambitious for the forever
which, even when it’s over
has to be pulled again and again
from torn and trembling skin.


3.

Ask me what I remember
and I will not say your eyes,
the blueness hard to qualify
in terms of sea or skies.

Ask me what I remember
and I will say your collar bone,
the balustrade for your breath.
And when I am alone

it is the memory of how it felt,
that I won’t forget, even if I could,
in this slow and long withdrawal
of you ebbing from my blood.



L I N K S
James Nash
Photo by Marcos Avlonitis
A Bit of an Ice Breaker
Some Things Matter: 63 Sonnets
5th October 2012

63 carefully-
crafted pieces on a diverse range of topics; 882 lines of poetry with as many ideas and insights as they can possibly hold.  (read more)
Some Things Matter