Alicia Stubbersfield

Alicia Stubbersfield The Yellow Table



The Yellow Table, Pindrop Press, 2013

Alicia Stubbersfield is one of the judges for the 2012 Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and also co-judges the writing section of The Koestler Trust Arts in Prison prizes for the northern region. She lectures in Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University, after living and working in Yorkshire, Wales and Gloucestershire. The Yellow Table is her fourth collection. She has been published in many magazines such as The Rialto, Magma, Smiths Knoll, The North, Ambit and The SHOp. She has read at and run workshops for Ledbury and Aldeburgh Poetry Festivals and for the South Bank Centre.


Gillian Clarke says of her latest collection: The Yellow Table casts an alert eye on the lost and the lonely – the crazy boy pianist, the bright boy who became a drug dealer – in poems jewelled with images that surprise. A statue is someone waking from an anaesthetic; grief is a goldfish ‘quivering’. She conjures the times with period detail – that yellow Formica table, a red windcheater, the smell of shoe polish; the dispersals of divorce and breakage, then repair – life opening like a white peony in her own cupped hands, viper’s bugloss, like ‘splinters of sea, far inland.’ It is a humane collection about human vulnerability.’

Maura Dooley described her poetry as ‘a world in which Marc Chagall, Angela Carter and Stanley Spencer might meet. Her world is witty, moving, affectionate and gaudy yet it is a place where the brilliance of the colours is haunted by what lies in the shadows. Her gaze is unflinching…’

Anne Cluysenaar says ‘It is rare to find a poet like Alicia Stubbersfield for whom real life, its untidy pains and delights and uncertainties are genuine, rich, exquisite material for poetry.’

Hear her read



In this blue dress I am water
eddying round your questions like rocks.

Water freezes,
lets everything slide over its glassiness.

For years our goldfish survived icy winters
by swimming far enough below the pond’s surface.

Under the ice
grief’s small creature still quivers