Tim Liardet

Twice shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, for The World Before Snow (Carcanet) in 2015 and The Blood Choir (Seren) in 2006, Tim Liardet has produced ten collections of poetry to date. He has been longlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Prize, and has received a Society of Authors Award, a Hawthornden Fellowship, three Pushcart nominations, and various other awards. His poems have appeared or are due to appear in journals including London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement and The Poetry Review. Arcimboldo’s Bulldog: New and Selected Poems appeared from Carcanet in 2018. In September 2019, he received an Authors’ Foundation work-in-progress award from the Society of Authors. From 2015-2018, he was a Poetry Book Society Selector and he is Professor of Poetry at Bath Spa University.


Tim Liardet

Photo: Tomasz M Radej


Poetry Centre Stage »

Reading: Naomi Shihab Nye, Tim Liardet

Tue 9 March | 19:30 - 20:30 | FREE | StAnza Online


A Prayer to Mother Serotonin


Your heart is strong, and a hand is a hypothesis,
and it is my palms you raise up less than gently by the fingertips.
Mother, forgive me. I will wash, I will wash
away my hands and all their fingers to so much empty air.
I will wash, and perfume, in wool-fat,
tea-tree, camomile, bergamot and kelp,
in rosehip and safflower, in illipe butter, avocado oil:
on a tray, I will stack each heart when unwrapped
as if binning the last more quickly to get to the next
and producing such excess of lather
(…while reciting out loud that medieval psalm)
will prove to sinners and self-doubters everywhere
the many limitations of a bar of soap.

Tim Liardet

First published in The London Magazine (June/July 2020)