Liz Berry's 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.
'Blue Heaven' is what we need this morning and every morning, a prayer to the past but also a poem to the bustling, vibrant, tragic, temporary blast that is the human spirit, that is love. Liz Berry is a fine poet (she wouldn't be in the Backroom, otherwise) but she is also an ecstatic poet, so let us enjoy this moment of fierce reflection and joy, inspired by one of the photographs in her new collaboration.