Paul Jeffcutt

About the book…

Head hunched, bony hands clasped, gaunt arms wrapped under the covers: he's laid out like a mediaeval knight, pale and sunken cheeks scarred from the nurse's clumsy shaves. In the clutch of the bacterium, pumped and emptied by machines. But the eyes still flicker. My Dad keeps going: going on, going away. 

Latch is Paul Jeffcutt's debut collection and its poems sign with remarkable assurance. Bracing in their intellectual and geographical sweep, Jeffcutt's poems are not afraid of engaging with painful emotion. Whether writing about family, childhood, politics and cultural history, the natural world, the strangeness of elsewhere, Jeffcutt speaks with insight and candour. 

At the core are deeply moving poems of love and loss. Skilled and memorable, Jeffcutt's language is grounded in the everyday. Firmly rooted, these poems move deftly round what it is to live in the modern world, seeing not just mordant ironies but also the moment of transcendence, of passion and of transformation. 

Latch is an immensely readable and thought-provoking collection.

Photo of the author, Paul Jeffcutt

About the author…

Paul Jeffcutt grew up in a hamlet near the border between England and Wales. After living and working in three different continents, he settled in Northern Ireland in 1998: he lives in the Bronte Homeland of Co Down.

Paul began to write in his spare time. In 2006 he was selected by Poetry Ireland as an emerging writer of ‘real talent’. He left full-time employment in 2009 to pursue a new career as a writer.

Paul’s poems have appeared in journals across the UK, Ireland, Australia and the USA, including Aesthetica, The Cannon's Mouth, Carillon, Crannog, Decanto, The Frogmore Papers, Gold Dust, HQ, Markings, Mobius, Poetry Scotland, Revival, Sentinel, Silkworm and Stylus. His poems have also featured in anthologies from established poetry presses including Dedalus Press, Biscuit Publishing, Ragged Raven Press and Cinnamon Press.

Latch, his debut collection of poetry, was published by Lagan Press in November 2010. This manuscript was highly commended by the judges of the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Prize (2009) and was further enhanced through a Manuscript Development Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Latch was selected as The Book of The Month (July 2011) by the Ulster Tatler: "a wonderful collection from a very talented poet. The tone is confident and assured, the content is thought provoking and as a whole it stokes passion and emotion within the reader."

Paul has won awards and been highly commended in international poetry competitions, including  the Aesthetica Creative Works Competition, the Jack Clemo Poetry Prize, the Cannon Silver Jubilee Competition, the Cinnamon Press Poetry Award, the Sentinel Literary Competition and the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Prize. 

He has been selected to read his work at major arts festivals in the UK and Ireland, including the Belfast Festival at Queen’s, the Aspects Festival of Irish Literature (in Bangor), the Gort Literature Festival, the Dingle Arts Festival, the St Ives Literature Festival and the Lincoln Book Festival.

Paul's poetry has been featured on BBC Radio. He has been interviewed and has read a selection of poems on Arts Extra, he has also contributed to Rhythm and Rhyme.

Paul has given public readings at numerous venues across the island of Ireland, including the Irish Writer’s Centre (in Dublin), Damer Hall (in Dublin) for Poetry Ireland, the Market Place Theatre (in Armagh), the Black Box (in Belfast), the Crescent Arts Centre (in Belfast), the Dock (in Leitrim) and O Bheal (in Cork).

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Trustee of Concern Worldwide and a long-standing member of the Writer’s Group at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry in Belfast.