London by Mark Isherwood

Monday, 22 March 2021











Mark Isherwood writes both poetry and fiction. His first collection of poetry, Lethe was published by Anaphora Press in 2011. He also contributed a short story to the 2015 anthology, Building Red. His first novel for children, The Thief, The Witch and The Shop of Curiosities was published in October 2019. Originally from Dorset, Mark now lives in London with his wife and their three sons.

London is a city that can inspire, infuriate, provide and pummel. It can be both a wonderful and a terrible place. For a migrant coming to terms with living in this city the London experience is complex. It is not always as simple as love and hate and for some it becomes a strange, difficult to define ambivalence. This collection explores the diversity of encounter that this great twenty first century city has to offer. This diversity is not just reflected in the content of the poems but in the variety of forms used. London is a plethora of experience and as the preface states: this is my London not yours but you may find things we share. Dip in and see.


With the gimlet eye of the observer Mark Isherwood lets the reader experience all the instruments that make up the symphony of his London as if it were the music of Vaughan Williams. 

This is where ‘the drunken-night bus he takes waddles up the Edgeware Road.’  ‘a broken road leads to nothing street,’ or just like him ‘the outsider lies within/wearing ill-fitting skin’.

Through the interplay of sound and light, the chiaroscuro of the many streets he walks us through, he brings the city of perpetual motion to life through the eyes of the migrant.

Geraldine Mills