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Dear Blacksmith: A Journey of Love and Loss

by Beverley Ward

‘This wasn't the story I wanted to tell. The end happened in the middle.’

Part love story, part grief memoir, Dear Blacksmith recounts the author’s brief and unconventional love affair with 'Blacksmith Paul', a maverick who lived out on the moors in the Peak District – and the heart-rending details of her grief after his sudden death, just eight months into their relationship.

Adapted from the much-loved blog Swimming Through Clouds, the story is told through a series of searingly-honest diary entries, reflections, and poems addressed to the Blacksmith. In a heartfelt rejection of 'stiff upper lip' culture, 'Writer Beverley' sheds all inhibitions to examine grief at its most raw and brutal; from planning her love’s funeral with a family that she’d never met, to learning to live alone again following the loss both of her soulmate and her mother, a few weeks earlier.

A complex journey from the depths of sorrow to the beginnings of recovery, this book is a work of extraordinary sincerity; and ultimately, a hard-earned testament to the power of love and the resilience of the human spirit.


Beverley Ward lives in Sheffield with her two children. She has been writing for over twenty years and has spent most of her career supporting other writers through facilitating writing workshops and literature projects. She was the founder of the Sheffield Young Writers project and has worked for Writing Yorkshire and as a consultant for The Reading Agency. She is writer-in-residence at the Writers' Hub which she co-founded with Kurious Arts at Castle House in Sheffield. Beverley also works as a writing coach and facilitator from her own Writers' Workshop in Sheffield and loves to run retreats in Wales and in Bridlington.

Beverley regularly writes about grief for The Huffington Post and has been present at policy-making discussions at the House of Commons as a thought leader in the world of bereavement. Her grief memoir Dear Blacksmith: A Journey of Love and Loss was published by Valley Press in February 2020.


Edition: First

Date Published: 2020-02-01

ISBN: 9781912436378

Catalogue Number: VP0157

Number of Pages: 400

Cover design by Jamie McGarry

Cover photograph by Paul Harding

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