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It Is I Who Speak

by Nigel Gerrans

‘The time is now, it can never be again; it is enough.’

One of the great ‘undiscovered’ post-war British poets, Nigel Gerrans’ sixty-year creative journey was marked by personal reflection, piercing observation and eclectic spirituality. This generous selection, made in 2014 by the author’s long-time friend and collaborator Felix Hodcroft, offers readers new and old the best possible overview of this remarkable body of work.

From the call to action of ‘Night Express’ to the modern-day tragedy of ‘Patient X’, from the small triumphs of ‘At Her Own Pace’ to the biting satire of the previously-unpublished ‘Ballad of Ted and Joan’, Gerrans meets the world’s gaze squarely, never failing to ask the ‘necessary question’ or skilfully articulate its answer. Finally, and in full, there is ‘Song Sequence’, a unique blend of passion and philosophy that has been a lifetime in the making; arguably the poet’s crowning achievement.

It Is I Who Speak is a book filled with energy; a fascinating and vital record of a wonderful writer; a collection of poems that will not fail to move and astonish all those who engage with them.

“Energetic and image-laden ... this is a vivid and engaging collection of poems that deserve to live long in the memory.”
— Poetry Book Society Bulletin


Nigel Gerrans was born in Surrey in 1931. He studied Modern Languages at Cambridge, after which he spent several years teaching in a school for cerebral palsied children. He later worked as a filmmaker for the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries, before taking ordination as a priest and serving as full-time Hospital Chaplain in a busy District General Hospital.

He retired to Scarborough, North Yorkshire, where he became an active member of the local poetry community and, with Tenebrae (2009), the first Valley Press author. 2015 saw the publication of It Is I Who Speak: Selected Poems, edited by Nigel's great friend and collaborator Felix Hodcroft.

Nigel passed away near Scarborough in October 2021. You can read Valley Press publisher Jamie McGarry's tribute to him here.


Edition: Paperback

Date Published: 2015-07-03

ISBN: 9781908853516

Catalogue Number: VP0074

Number of Pages: 134

Cover Design by Jamie McGarry

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