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by Norah Hanson

‘I wouldn't mind another crack at this life business.’

The poem 'Grafters' from this collection was chosen by Hollie McNish for BBC Radio 4's 'Poetry Please' (28th Jan edition), discussion and reading available to listen here (sometimes!) (5 mins 45 secs in). You can listen to Norah read the poem herself here.

is the third collection of passionate, poignant poetry from much-loved Hull-based writer Norah Hanson. The fiery wit and hard-won wisdom that characterised her previous collections are here, intact, with a new level of clarity and purpose adding weight to the words – without losing the warmth, wonder, and laugh-out-loud observational skills that have won Norah an army of readers across the world.

Six-times a great-grandmother, the poet’s life experience shines through each page; shedding light on triumphs and struggles past, illuminating our troubled (and frequently ridiculous) present, and nodding towards sources of hope for the future.

The ‘sparks’ are cast into the night sky from a VE day bonfire, they ‘dance in the spaces between solid matter’, and they are the poems themselves, flashes of brilliance to be cherished, read, and re-read for decades to come.


Norah Hanson was born in Hull, 1937, and has been a proud resident ever since. She spent her working life teaching in secondary schools, then turned to writing after her retirement in 1996. Widowed in 1994, she is nonetheless not short of company – she has six children, seventeen grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Her poetry has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, featured on BBC Radio 4, and published in numerous magazines and anthologies. She is the author of three collections of poetry, Love Letters & Children’s Drawings (2011), Under a Holderness Sky (2013) and Sparks (2016), all published by Valley Press.


Edition: Paperback

Date Published: 2016-12-16

ISBN: 9781908853769

Catalogue Number: VP0093

Number of Pages: 48

Cover design by Jamie McGarry

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