Liz Berry - Poetry

Liz Berry by Lee Allen.jpg

About Liz

Liz Berry was born in the Black Country and now lives in Birmingham. Her first book of poems, Black Country (Chatto 2014), described as a ‘sooty, soaring hymn to her native West Midlands’ (Guardian) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, received a Somerset Maugham Award and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award and Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2014. Liz's pamphlet The Republic of Motherhood (Chatto, 2018) was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice and the title poem won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2018. A new book of her collaboration with photographer Tom Hicks will be published by Hercules Editions in 2021. Liz is a patron of Writing West Midlands and works as a tutor for organizations including the Arvon Foundation and The Poetry School. 

Twitter: @MissLizBerry


Black Country

Forward Prize for Best First Collection Winner 2014   

Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award Winner 2015    

Somerset Maugham Award Winner     

Poetry Book Society Recommendation

Chosen as a Book of the Year by The Guardian, Big Issue, The Telegraph, The Mail and The Morning Star

In Black Country, Liz Berry takes flight: to Wrens Nest, Gosty Hill, Tipton-on-Cut; to the places of home. The poems move from the magic of childhood – bostin fittle at Nanny’s, summers before school – into deeper, darker territory: sensual love, enchanted weddings, and the promise of new life.

In Berry’s hands, the ordinary is transformed: her characters shift shapes, her eye is unusual, her ear attuned to the sounds of the Black Country, with ‘vowels ferrous as nails, consonants / you could lick the coal from.’ Ablaze with energy and full of the rich dialect of the West Midlands, this is an incandescent debut from a poet of dazzling talent and verve.

Liz Berry book cover for Black Country.j
Republic Cover.jpg

The Republic of Motherhood

Winner of the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2018

Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice Winter 2018


In this bold and resonant gathering of poems, Liz Berry turns her distinctive voice to the transformative experience of new motherhood. Her poems sing the body electric, from the joy and anguish of becoming a mother, through its darkest hours to its brightest days. With honesty and unabashed beauty, they bear witness to that most tender of times – when a new life arrives, and everything changes.


Readings and Workshops

Poetry School Online Masterclass - Try A Little Tenderness - 12th Sept & 3rd Oct

Poetry School Online Course - Transformative Poetry - 26th Sept - 5th Dec

Meanwhile... Why not watch a video of Liz reading?


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