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Gifts the Mole Gave Me

by Wendy Pratt

‘Listen to the sound of something small / making its way underground.’

Gifts the Mole Gave Me is an unearthing of life, a rediscovery of self after loss, and a search for the pleasurable, velvet touch of the mole’s dark journey. It is a hymn to the wild places; to the sea, the sky and the mind, in which anxieties and griefs flit and hover.

The poems explore cycles of repetition, renewed attempts, vicious and virtuous circles – again and again, over and over, round and round. Things are tidal; ‘the pull of the moon in your blood’, the annual mark of a lost child’s birthday, the cyclical nature of a ‘madness’ worn around the neck like a locket.

Mapping the veins and pathways of the body as surely as it does the dry stone walls and rural boundaries of the exterior, this is an accomplished and compelling collection which confirms its author’s place at the heart of UK poetry.

‘A deep vein of love and grief runs beneath Wendy Pratt's rather wonderful new collection, whether she is writing about her lost daughter, missed birthdays, cockerels silenced to placate the neighbours, a virus under a microscope or a defiant run beside the North Sea. A sureness of touch, a startling image, and an ability to move the reader mark this Yorkshire poet as something very special indeed.’  Carole Bromley

‘Pratt walks out in these poems, treading carefully; quiet and watchful in her own interior landscape, noticing the small things, paying attention to the sound of ‘something small making its way underground’; velvet, soft, snouting through her own dark spaces and pain and still dazzled by the light. These poems are the wonderful work of a poet in full control of her art and craft; they are beautiful, musical, understated and unexpected. Here is the dark earth of moles tunnelling in the dark, the strength of love and the fragility of glass.’  
Deborah Alma

‘Tender and full of anger, Wendy Pratt's poems trace the line that separates love from loss, only to find that they are one in the same. A beautiful collection.’  Richard Skinner


Wendy Pratt was born in Scarborough, 1978, and still lives there today. She is a fully-qualified microbiologist, but also has a BA in English Literature, an MA in Creative Writing, and is working towards a PhD in poetry. She is the author of Nan Hardwicke Turns into a Hare (Prolebooks, 2011), Museum Pieces (Prolebooks, 2014) and Lapstrake (Flarestack, 2015).

Her latest collection, Gifts the Mole Gave Me, was published by Valley Press in October 2017.


Edition: Paperback

Date Published: 2017-10-26

ISBN: 9781908853882

Catalogue Number: VP0105

Number of Pages: 76

Cover design by Jamie McGarry

Cover illustration by Maxim Griffin

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