Helen Mort

Helen Mort: Featured Poet

After Tarkovsky

A karner butterfly,
climbing the stairwell
of late evening,

through the shadows
cast by larches, up
into the last colour

this sun can give; how
it holds the pages
of its black-edged wings,

unreadable. At night,
I take a leather book,
switch off the lamp

and open it. So dark,
I barely even see
the white. It’s then

I settle on the bed.
It’s then I read
just what I like.


Helen Mort was born in Sheffield in 1985 and grew up in nearby Chesterfield. She has published two pamphlets with tall-lighthouse press, ‘the shape of every box’ and ‘a pint for the ghost’ (a PBS Choice). Her first full collection is forthcoming from Chatto & Windus. Helen received an Eric Gregory Award in 2007 and won the Manchester Young Writer prize in 2008. From 2010-2011 she was Poet in Residence at The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere where she published ‘Lie of the Land’, a pamphlet of poems written during her residency. She is currently working towards a PhD at Sheffield University.