Book Added Go to checkout. x


by Michael Stewart

'Two sheep in a field chewing, chewing, chewing until at last they can swallow.'

Paperback out of stock, reprint forthcoming in 2019.

is the latest poetry publication from award-winning writer Michael Stewart; a blackly comic sequence of poems that explore the nature of co-dependency – of two people who want to be together, but at the same time cannot help but push each other away.

The layout of the book is itself a commentary on the phenomenon – the poems are placed in their own 'couples', twelve pairs that face each other across the page. Sometimes they exchange a glance, sometimes they stand side-by-side, staring out into the abyss; only when the book is closed, and they are in darkness, do they truly come together.

“Bleak but wonderful ... familiar, and of course funny.”
— Alan Bennett

“Dark, funny and twisted, but surprisingly tender.”
— A.L. Kennedy


Michael Stewart was born in Salford in 1971. He is senior lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Huddersfield, and editor of the celebrated series of Grist anthologies. He lives with his partner and son in Bradford.

His debut novel King Crow (Bluemoose, 2011) won The Guardian’s ‘Not the Booker’ Prize, and was the only debut selected as a ‘recommended read’ for World Book Night 2012. Subsequent publications have included short, themed poetry collection Couples (Valley Press, 2013) and a second novel, Café Assassin (Bluemoose, 2015). His first collection of short stories, Mr Jolly, was published by Valley Press in February 2016, and was longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2017.

His latest novel is Ill Will, imagining what Heathcliff did during his three-year disappearance from Wuthering Heights.


Edition: Paperback

Date Published: 2013-02-14

ISBN: 9781908853226

Catalogue Number: VP0042

Number of Pages: 34

Cover design by Jamie McGarry

Cover photograph by David Ruston

Be part of our story. Join the Valley Press newsletter.