Sarah Wimbush interviews & reviews for her debut collection

Sarah Wimbush interviews & reviews for her debut collection


'I loved this stunning and substantial collection that enfolds us into the lives and experiences of Roma communities and explores mining heritage in Yorkshire.' - Will Mackie, New Writing North (New & recent poetry from the North)


Sarah Wimbush is a Leeds poet who was brought up in Doncaster. She has published two pamphlets: Bloodlines (Seren, 2020), winner of the Mslexia/PBS Poetry Pamphlet Competition 2019, which was also shortlisted in the Michael Marks Awards, and The Last Dinosaur in Doncaster (Smith|Doorstop, 2021), a winner of the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition in 2020.  Her debut collection Shelling Peas with My Grandmother in the Gorgiolands was published by Bloodaxe on 26 May 2022, and was launched online on 31 May (video below) and at Cheltenham Poetry Festival. Sarah also read from her collection in person at Ledbury and Leeds Poetry Festivals.

In Shelling Peas with My Grandmother in the Gorgiolands, her first book-length collection, Sarah Wimbush journeys through myth and memory with poetry rooted in Yorkshire. From fireside tales of Romany Gypsies and Travellers, through pit villages and the haunt of the Miners’ Strike, to the subliminal of the everyday – including poems about typists, pencil sharpeners and learning to drive in a Ford Capri. This highly accomplished debut collection explores what it means to belong, what it means to be on the margins. This is poetry written in praise of family and community and those qualities which make us human: love, language and, most of all, resilience.



Mslexia, Issue 95, Sep-Oct 2022

Sarah Wimbush’s first full-length collection Shelling Peas with My Grandmother in the Gorgiolands was well reviewed in the autumn 2022 issue of Mslexia, the magazine for women who write.

‘Wimbush is akin to Carol Ann Duffy in her mastery of the dramatic monologue, using the genre to bring to life strong, defiant women... Shelling Peas with My Grandmother in the Gorgiolands is a rich, matrilineal quilt of a collection in which language is an heirloom intangibly precious yet so generously given. Wimbush’s poems form complete worlds on the page that keep turning after it ends, full of characters who refuse to be written out of history.’ – Ellora Sutton, Mslexia

A brief ‘How I did it’ interview with Sarah Wimbush accompanied the review.

In print.  Digital edition by subscription.


Spelt Magazine, The Spelt Interview with Sarah Wimbush, Issue 6, Summer 2022

A three-page interview with Sarah Wimbush featured in the summer issue of Spelt, the poetry and creative non-fiction magazine celebrating the rural experience.  She was speaking to editor Wendy Pratt about her first full-length collection Shelling Peas with My Grandmother in the Gorgiolands

In print only.


An interview with Sarah Wimbush featured in the August 2022 issue of Spelt magazine.  In print only.

Sarah Wimbush was invited by The Friday Poem to talk about the three poems she’d take to a desert island. The poems she chose, along with Sarah’s comments about why she chose them, were featured on TFP’s website on 30 April 2022.  Read the feature here.



Shelling Peas with My Grandmother in the Gorgiolands was Atrium's featured publication for May-June 2022. Four poems from the book are featured here



An in-depth review featured in The Friday Poem on 8 July 2022.  Read in full here.

Shelling Peas with My Grandmother in the Gorgiolands is wise, witty and generous… It’s a fresh and alive space of reflection, and a celebration of a voiceless people; an elegy to a way of life, and to a language.’ – Maggie Mackay, The Friday Poem


Steve Whitaker wrote an in-depth review for The Yorkshire Times, which is online here.

‘Here, in a major collection for Bloodaxe, is a humble, and humbling, homage to her roots, scoping widely over the terrain of the sometimes less than itinerant Traveller and the backwaters of Yorkshire, which have collectively helped to shape a piecemeal sense of identity. The result is beautifully crafted and artfully delivered, drawing on a kaleidoscope of images, anecdotes and memories that clearly owe a great deal to research’ – Steve Whitaker, The Yorkshire Times, on Shelling Peas with My Grandmother in the Gorgiolands


Michael Glover included a review in his Speed Reading column in The Tablet.  In print and online by subscription. Register to read for free.  Read the feature here.

‘Another female poet who drives us deep into the country of local dialect is Leeds-based Sarah Wimbush who, in Shelling Peas with my Grandmother in the Gorgiolands, introduces us to the world of Travellers, with their vardos (horse-drawn caravans), their jukels (dogs) and their dikkering (fortune-telling habits). It’s all very spirited and spikily humorous, and it’s solidly rooted in her northern territory, with its slag heaps, furnace waste and even the ghostly long-gone togetherness of miners at Markham Main Colliery, the last to stay out.’ – Michael Glover, The Tablet

Mary Mulholland reviewed the collection in issue 7 of The Alchemy Spoon (in print only).

'This is a captivating collection offering important insights into a way of life perhaps previously little-known or understood.' - Mary Mulholland, The Alchemy Spoon



Ledbury Poetry Festival, July 2022, Wagtail Women

Sarah Wimbush read at the Ledbury Poetry Festival in July 2022.  Audio for this wonderful joint event with Raine Geoghegan can be heard on Ledbury Poetry Player here.  Both Sarah and Raine also read poems by fellow poet Jo Clement, who was unable to attend.  Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley introduced the event, and also read a poem by Jo.



Tuesday 31 May 2022, live-streamed launch reading by Jo Clement, Sarah Wimbush and Clare Shaw

Bloodaxe's joint launch reading by Jo Clement, Sarah Wimbush and Clare Shaw celebrating the publication of their new poetry collections was live-streamed on 31 May 2022, and is now on YouTube. They were reading from and discussing their new collections with the host, Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley, and with each other.  All three poets have won Northern Writers' Awards for poems included in these collections.

Jo Clement read first in each set, followed by Sarah Wimbush. They were reading from their first full collections Outlandish and Shelling Peas with My Grandmother in the Gorgiolands. Clare Shaw was reading from their fourth collection, Towards a General Theory of Love.   Passionate, mesmerising readings from all three poets, followed by a wonderful discussion during which they drew out the connections between their three books.


[01 September 2022]

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