Helen mort there and back

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helen mort there and back

Division Street by Helen Mort

*SHORTLISTED FOR THE T.S ELIOT PRIZE 2013*

‘A stone is lobbed in ’84,
hangs like a star over Orgreave.
Welcome to Sheffield. Border-land,
our town of miracles…’
– ‘Scab’


From the clash between striking miners and police to the delicate conflicts in personal relationships, Helen Mort’s stunning debut is marked by distance and division. Named for a street in Sheffield, this is a collection that cherishes specificity: the particularity of names; the reflections the world throws back at us; the precise moment of a realisation. Distinctive and assured, these poems show us how, at the site of conflict, a moment of reconciliation can be born.
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Published 18.01.2019

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Helen Mort was born in Sheffield. A stand out poet of her generation, there was a buzz around Helen Mort even before she published her first collection Division Street. She had already published two enthusiastically received pamphlets, and won the Foyle Young Poet award numerous times. Division Street was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award and won the respected Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and in she became the youngest poet in residence at the Wordsworth Trust. Assured, full of mystery, subtly witty, completely unique in the images they paint, reveal and capture for the reader. An Easy Day for a Lady is one such extraordinarily exuberant poem turning a derogatory comment aimed at female mountain climbers into a marvellous celebration of courage and power:.

Helen Mort was born in Sheffield. A stand out poet of her generation, there was a buzz around Helen Mort even before she published her first collection Division.
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Jump to navigation. Mort has said that landscape is an important presence in her writing, and many of her poems were composed while walking or running in the Cumbrian fells. This may account for the metrical steadiness of much of her work: a basis for the sophisticated play and patterning of sound, which honours a lyric tradition perhaps most familiar from 20th Century Northern Irish and Scottish poetry.

This is my first end-of-term where I am not a music teacher. It obviously feels very different — this year, my end-of-term has come to an undramatic end, quietly fizzing out on its own. End of term as a music teacher felt like life speeding up to twice the speed it normally goes while everybody else was slowing down and watching Disney to pass the afternoons. This year has obviously been different. When I look back at the madness that used to be my end of term, I do feel a wave of nostalgia, maybe even longing, but only for a moment or two, thank goodness. There is a really interesting but quite complicated section on Imaginary Identity and the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. If I am looking back at my life or memory, or looking out at the world through the prism of men, is this a feminist thing to do?

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