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The Swan Wallpaper

by Belinda Bradley

“I trick my mind into believing the traffic from the M6 is the wind. I can live without traffic noise, but I cannot live without the wind.”

Belinda Bradley’s poetry contains shades of light and dark. And with each poem flowing effortlessly, her writing takes what might otherwise be seen as mundane, ordinary even, and attaches a profound sense of beauty and meaning to it. Balancing both poignancy and humour, she wrestles with topics from motherhood and employment to loss and the pandemic. The poems in The Swan Wallpaper will make you cry, laugh, and reflect.

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“What’s truly impressive about this collection is its trajectory. Reading it is like being invited on a journey with the poet as she navigates and attempts to make sense of altered worlds: the worlds of family, friendship, work, the known and bewildering past, the unseen future, the pandemic. The poems are carefully crafted and intimate. Moreover, they are brave and insightful. Bradley’s voice is honest and original, and her poems wear their inherent darkness lightly.”
– Claire Dyer

“The highly readable, original voice in this collection draws us in. Poems are set firmly in a vivid world of objects – there’s often an air of menace lying just under the concrete images, and subject matter which reinforces this atmosphere. Most often, these poems follow unexpected trains of thought which loop and return like birds, leading to some startling juxtapositions of ideas and images.”
– Cathy Grindrod


Belinda Bradley was born in North Manchester in 1973 and now lives in Derbyshire. She has had a poem published in Beyond the Storm, an anthology of poems about the coronavirus. She has been a finalist in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award and has been on the longlist for the National Poetry Competition. Belinda has had a variety of jobs including a charity shop manager, a group coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Society and currently works as an occupational therapy assistant for the NHS on a mental health ward.

Her collection The Swan Wallpaper was published by Valley Press in October 2022.


Edition: First

Date Published: 2022-10-27

ISBN: 9781912436903

Catalogue Number: VP0205

Number of Pages: 74

Cover design by Peter Barnfather

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