|Welcome to the website of Andy Humphrey, writer, legal adviser, trade unionist and former research scientist.|
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A Long Way to Fall
The Poet's Soapbox
"Satires" - new poetry book takes on David Cameron's Big Society
My second book of poems was launched at the Arts Against Homelessness cabaret on 23rd March 2015. A miscellany of rhyme, satire and whimsy, the collection has been published by York-based small press Stairwell Books and profits from sale of the book will go to support the work of homelessness prevention charity Keyhouse. I am now taking bookings for performances and guest feature slots at poetry events around the region and will be delighted to hear from any event organisers who would like me to come and do a reading!
You can order Satires direct from
"Arts Against Homelessness" launches
I am proud to be part of a new collaboration between grassroots arts organisations aimed at supporting organisations which fight homelessness and poverty in York. Our inaugural event was a cabaret evening on Monday 23rd March as part of York Literature Festival, which raised the fantastic sum of £501 for our nominated charities: homelessness prevention charity Keyhouse, emergency support provider for young homeless people SASH, and tireless anti-poverty workers York Foodbank. Future Arts Against Homelessness events are already being planned for later in 2015 to raise the profile of organisations working at the sharp end of the so-called Big Society.
First review of "A Long Way to Fall" in print
I'm thrilled that the lovely people at Dream Catcher magazine have picked up A Long Way to Fall and given it a rather glowing review. Some of the headline comments are:
"These poems are populated by a cast of humans and other creatures ranged along a spectrum from reality to wonderland. There is a slippery elusiveness to some of the more mythic figures, but at the same time they have a vivid immediacy..."
"Sometimes the reader is almost too tantalisingly teased by the suggestion of another level of meaning just out of reach..."
"Andy Humphrey wields a pen snug as a gun, and one that can dig. His work is complicated, clever, engaging; a poet does speak here - and as Robert Frost once said, poet is a praise word."
A Long Way to Fall, my first full-length collection of poetry, was published in May 2013 by the good people at Lapwing Publications, Belfast.
The book was officially launched at a special event at the Royal Oak, Goodramgate, York on 28th June 2013.
The ISBN is 978-1-909252-40-0.
What the critics have said:
"A Long Way to Fall is rich in imaginative leaps, and the playful weave of threads of vivid imagery from the realms of fantasy, from folklore, from myth, through the fabric of the mundane and the commonplace." (Bob Beagrie)
"Andy's writing is intelligent but never elitist: we're all invited to share." (Rose Drew)
"These are poems of memory and loss, and of what it means to be human... Andy is a master of the mischievous 'what if?' and many of his poems have a marvellous comic dexterity and joy... A Long Way to Fall is a stunning debut." (James Nash)
"Andy Humphrey wields a pen snug as a gun, and one that can dig. His work is complicated, clever, engaging; a poet does speak here - and as Robert Frost once said, poet is a praise word." (Rodie Sudbery, Dream Catcher 29)
"The first two poems in your book each made me cry. Well done. What gorgeous writing and haunting ideas." (Tracy Rees, Richard & Judy Book Club "Search for a Bestseller" winner 2014)
The death of Baroness Thatcher seems to be an opportune moment to revisit The Birkenhead April Fools: my satirical take on growing up in 1980s Merseyside, seen through the lens of the local newspaper's annual spoof headlines. Originally written in 2006 and first published in issue 145 of Orbis, it only seems to have become more topical with the passage of time...
You can read the poem now at Andy's poetry page.
More about Andy's freelance writing work, including competition adjudication, writing workshops, and writing to commission.
Other links to things I support and promote:
York Writers - a support group run by writers, FOR writers, in the historic city of York. The group's interests range across fiction and non-fiction, poetry and scripts, novels and short stories, for adults and children.
Arts Against Homelessness - a coalition of grassroots arts organisations in York who are teaming up to put on events in support of local charities fighting homelessness and poverty in the area.
The Speakers' Corner - open mic night in York for poets, storytellers, comedians, and spoken word performers of all kinds. With special guests.
The Sounds Lyrical Project - a collaboration between York poets and composers to produce new musical settings of contemporary poems.
Write Out Loud: THE website for performance poets in the UK.
York Authors - "Good Reads Written in York" - a collective of York-based novelists, poets, children's authors and non-fiction authors working together to promote their own work and work set in York.
The Irene Goodnight Appreciation Society: a delightful bunch who run twice-yearly residential weekends of folk music, song, dance, storytelling, drinking and great companionship.