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A Bit of an Ice Breaker

by James Nash

'The taxi driver thinks I’m a bouncer. It’s the third time this week.'

A Bit of an Ice Breaker is a selection of the very best poetry from acclaimed Leeds-based writer James Nash. The poet has sifted through his first two collections, Deadly Sensitive and Coma Songs, and chosen some particular favourites to be made available (for the first time) in ebook form - along with a sprinkling of recently commissioned, previously uncollected work.

In their new, less crowded incarnation, Nash’s poems speak clearly of his interests and obsessions; these are writings of comic embarrassment, of close relationships, of birth and death. Vulgarity sits close to tender love poems, poetry is discussed with taxi-drivers, while no-one protests at drunken sexual activity in a crowded north Leeds sitting room.

From the author's introduction: 'Though some of the poems selected might be, like me, showing their age a little, I hope, as always, that the words are enough.'


James Nash was born in London in 1949, and has been a resident of Leeds since 1971. He is a well-known provider of creative writing workshops in schools, universities and the community, and is regularly called on as a host of literary events.

James’ poetry has appeared in many books and anthologies. Highlights from early collections can be found in A Bit of an Ice Breaker: Selected and Uncollected Poems, published by Valley Press as an ebook in 2012.

October 2012 saw the release of Some Things Matter: 63 Sonnets. After spending most of the previous three years writing in the sonnet form, James had generated a hundred and sixty pieces (more than Shakespeare!) – the final publication collected the sixty-three best efforts, to celebrate the poet's sixty-third year of existence. A second edition of the book, in 2014, added a handful of new sonnets, first heard on BBC Radio 3.

James' most recent publication is Cinema Stories, a collaboration with fellow Leeds-based poet Matthew Hedley Stoppard. Launched at the Leeds International Film Festival in November 2015, this collection celebrates the cinematic heritage of Leeds, and the experience of cinema-going in general.


Edition: Kindle exclusive

Date Published: 2012-04-12

ISBN: 9781908853479

Catalogue Number: VP0028

Number of Pages: 38

Cover design by Jamie McGarry

Cover photograph by Kevin Hickson

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