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James Nash
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.

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!) - the final publication collected the sixty-three best
efforts, a number chosen 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.
Books by this author
Sample poem


They ask me to go to the cinema with them,
and I go, touched that as a couple
they are prepared to share.

I sit with them,
all of us munching and chatting,
not feeling at all like a gooseberry
until the film starts
and they somehow get closer,
and while they are watching
occasionally touch each other on the leg.

It looks nice, friendly even;
I consider for a moment just joining in,
putting my hand on one of their knees,
but stop myself just in time.
Then I look at the legs of strangers down the row
and wonder whether they would like it.
It could be a bit of an ice-breaker.

But I rein myself in;
and instead touch one of my own legs,
and rub it lightly in a clockwise direction.
It feels surprisingly good;
but just in case anyone is looking,
I pat my leg fiercely
and stamp my foot down hard
as if I’ve got
pins and needles.

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Related links
63 Sonnets
5th October
A Bit of an
Ice Breaker:
Selected and
12th April 2012
James Nash
A Bit of an Ice Breaker:
Some Things Matter: 63 Sonnets
Books by this author
Cinema Stories