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Anna Percy

Updated: Thu, 9 Dec 2010 01:52 am

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I Completed a Creative Writing and Contemporary Culture Joint Hons BA at Cumbria Institute of the Arts in 2007 and a Creative Writing MA at Manchester University in 2009. I have been performing around the country for six years, I have three times won Manchester's poetry pillow (a cuddly slam) participated in the Hammer and Tongue Slam at 2010's Edinburgh Festival. I have two chapbooks In Photographs (2007) and Ghosts at the Dinner Table (2010) I have been published in Libertine, Unsung Magazine, How Many Roads and BlankPages. I am a workshop facilitator, I have collaborated with visual artists, I run (with my co host Rebecca Audra Smith) Stirred: For Women Who Write a monthly poetry event and also with Simon Rennie I help facilitate Innverse a poetry event that has just celebrated its third birthday. My work is largely free verse and broken sonnets, my work encompasses love, loss losing your mind, the surreal, the pastoral political and feminism. you can see me read here:


Magnolia Wallpaper in Whitworth Park Eels in my ears blotting out birdsong, the first line opens my diaphragm. I am not singing because there are children examining branches with systematic ease, sticks for pointers, and people dinnertabling the benches, tending their burning tripod with chopsticks. I think of all the others listening to the same song and singing along in bedrooms, mascara applying, tea slurping, humming off key in cafes. I look out through tea tinted glasses, volley ball distracts others from buses in pencil case primary colours rumbling past railings, I wonder if They were offered up, like the boning from corsets, before the statue of the fat monarch. The curly girl shaking German words from her pen has leant her bike sure it will be there when she looks up. Clouds here gather, like dirty washing, but we don’t suspect rain among the soft pock of puffball mushrooms, passed from instep to instep. The dandelions haven’t clocked yet, two seated flamingos crunch apples in unison, another pair of frames has joined the sunglasses, who sit swigging from a green bottle, They are so simple they are in another world. Ars Poetica I write because when I try and tell you about the ghosts at the dinner table, or finding the a strand of an old lover’s hair livid in the valley of a paperback, the words that slither from my open mouth Are numerous, useless. I’ve filled rooms with them Each in itself perfect Burnished and coinlike. But as I speak and they pile up Like a shoal of aureate fishes Each word becomes indistinct. pressure separates my superfluous words: My heavy pen strokes emboss the page. My Father’s Lens? I don’t know whose eye saw this in the viewfinder first for sure but I think it was my father if only for the composition. No mouths or eyes visible, the children all engaged with their quarry: tadpoles in a bowl. We are all illuminated against the Rousseau foliage. We are all sun-burnished hair, shades of red and white and their mingling: that washed out sweatshirt the colour of cherry blossom. I’m the only one not camellia socked. Two of us are wearing matching ladybird red-buckled Start Rite shoes. I remember the advertising: a poster with boy and girl walking into the wilderness, just hoods facing the woods. My hand is clenched while others crouch over the bowl, just my chin - a flash of white blonde bob - is visible, but those are my double plastered knees and I remember how this stick of rock striped dress would never cover them when I knelt in grass but not what I kept in the pocket. Why Do Ducks Wear Eyeliner When They Don’t Even Dance? (2004) Tom Snape Because I never imagined that I would search in the cupboards of a caravan comically far from Denton Holme for evidence that you had loved me, or that I would find only the sketch book with the outlines for that terrible oil painting with the false eye-lashed lobster that leant against the walls of your red, red bedroom, where I would lie with the shutters closed till you came home from work, I was always late to meet you. The clock hands seemed to wave too fast as I sought out unrunged tights or swiped a smut of mascara from my nose. I would imagine you in the pub, seated on worn burgundy velvet, in your thin scarf wound tight like a cravat with your two-tone half-pint and the charade you made of rolling a cigarette, your hands poised above your sketch book. The paper, that buttermilk yellow and your black ink spilling out like my smudged kohl into creatures with feathers and fins, masked men. A Grinding Halt You were a blueberry blip in my summer, kissing in front of the church at seven in the morning, soaked to the skin while suits and ties whizzed by in the drizzle. You didn’t feel like stupidity then, in that moment before the flowers all opened, before the bees arrived around the buddleia when it still seemed like folly to eat a bowl of bright eye and tooth-jangling ice cream. Things progressed in fits and starts like a procession of possibly old busses, the poor suspension titillating, our hearts worn, patched, ripped like the seedy mustard and brown upholstery. Behind the Gargoyle Thronged Window I can’t see myself sharing this squalid life of mine: The spaghetti with last night’s sauce, persuading myself the security light makes pearls of the rain sliding down the window pane. Later, condensation becomes illuminated peach fuzz and lavender grows by chains near St Gregorys’ back alley, a fact I cannot change like the steady/unsteady thrum of my heart and the sensation when I close my eyes of falling endlessly through the mattress and my broken sleep, waking convinced the sliver of glass pulled from my palm is real.

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

Audio entries by Anna Percy

My First Full Length Collection (12/06/2013)

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Anna Percy

Sat 27th Jul 2013 16:47

Nigel so sorry to have missed your comment! When is the next WOL meeting I could bring some copies then?

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Nigel Astell

Fri 21st Jun 2013 15:55

Unfortunately I cannot make it to your book launch but just down the road from Manchester, in Stockport Art Gallery we have a Write Out Loud meeting on Monday July 8th at 7pm - 9pm.

If you can make it bring a few copies of your book and I can always put it on our blog.

I would like a signed copy please!

Dave Mountain

Sun 8th May 2011 02:46

Hello Anna - I bought a copy of Ghosts at the Dinner Table from you at Sale Waterside last month.reason I decided to invest was that I particularly liked the last poem you read "For Ruth Berry", which seemed to hit a common chord.
Should pay more attention springs to mind initially but despite this the poem picks out a lot of emotions which could equally attributed to other situations and sections of society which in my case is mental health/Institutionalisation.The poem remains great as is the rest of the material and I now understand the funny look you gave me when I passed comment as I made the purchase!

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Wed 27th Apr 2011 18:34

Hi Anna, Send your deets to and I'll post you the prize. It's been collecting dust on my bookcase for months... at least I hope that's where it is. Thom

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Joshua Van-Cook

Sat 3rd Apr 2010 21:43

Interesting poems Anna, your imagery is really effective. I'd be hard pressed to pick a favourite but Norfolk Sunk appeals to me, the structure of it really reinforces the still and/ or lifeless atmosphere.

- Josh

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Ann Foxglove

Tue 15th Dec 2009 17:42

Just to say I found your poems today and liked them a lot . I assume that the hands Fassbinder is asking about must be your hands which now resemble your dead fathers hands. I have my fathers hands too. This is my assumption anyway!

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Anna Percy

Thu 3rd Dec 2009 20:50

I am a staunch atheist I never infer otherwise in my poetry.

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Wed 2nd Dec 2009 22:03

Good evening Anna

I'm not really au fait with poetry critiquing so ...

Norwich Gravyard - great read. I found it quite moving. I wondered if the 'his hands' were the person who died fifteen years ago? If they are, how clever. If they aren't erm, were they God's? If neither, can you please explain yourself?!

I've a bus to catch and can't leave without knowing. I'll give you until a quarter-to.


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John Darwin

Tue 11th Aug 2009 17:42

not seen your stuff until now. Enjoyed it very much, particularly 'Magnolia Wallpaper in Whitworth Park' - gorgeous wordage.



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Andy Humphrey

Thu 22nd Jan 2009 13:18

Loved "Norwich Graveyard" - it's what you kept back that made it so powerful. More please!

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Tomás Ó Cárthaigh

Sat 18th Oct 2008 21:22

We indeed are a lost generation...

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David Franks

Tue 3rd Jun 2008 13:58

Hi Anna: my favourite is October, and I noticed you have similar subject matter to me.

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clarissa mckone

Fri 2nd Nov 2007 18:39

nice poems

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