New poems by Sally Read

Gethsemane is one of the poems from my new collection, Dawn of this Hunger, and is up at the Poetry Room. You can read it here

Radio: Poetry for the Season

I've been presenting a poetry programme on Radio Maria England through Advent, Lent and Easter, and you can hear the episodes at Spotify,and see below to find out about individual programmes and access them.

There's a major bias towards the canon in this playlist.. but that's purely because I had no budget to pay for permissions. I did manage to sneak in some wonderful contemporary poets, but I couldn't afford some notable people I would have loved to feature, like TS Eliot, Denise Levertov, Mary Oliver, John Burnside, Maya Angelou, Dylan Thomas, Jane Hirshfield, Gwendolyn Brooks.... In any case the poets in the prgrammes below are foundational and without exception sublime-- and it's very good to discover and rediscover them.

Advent, 1: Waiting, Anticipation and Incarnation! The Visionary by Emily Bronte, A Song of Ascents, The Quickening by Sally Read, The Burning Babe by Robert Southwell, Nativity by John Donne. 

Advent, 2: Hail the Immaculate Conception! The Coming of the Immaculate by Sally Read, Hail Virgin Mother of Christ by Walter of Wimbourne, trans by Rachel Fulton Brown, The Blessed Virgin Compared to the Air We Breathe by Gerard Manley Hopkins, Poem for Mary by anon (middle ages), Immaculate Conception by John Gray, To the Blessed Virgin by John Donne.

Advent, 3: The Consolation of Christ at Christmas The House of Christmas by GK Chesterton, from In Memoriam by Alfred Lord Tennyson, The Oxen by Thomas Hardy, In the Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti.

Advent, 4: The Music of Poetry and Prayer

Music on Christmas Morning by Anne Bronte, A Christmas Childhood by Patrick Kavanagh, Christmas Night by Lawrence Sail, Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  

Lent, 1: Knowing who we are in God, in Poetry, in Silence: I Am by John Clare, Rattled by Sarah Law, To One Who Has Been Long in City Pent by John Keats, When I Have Fears that I May Cease to Be by John Keats, Orphaned by Tim Bete, On Living Life to the Full by Paul Murray

Lent, 2: What God Wants of Us: Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold, The Parable of the Old Man and the Young by Wilfred Owen, To Keep a True Lent by Robert Herrick, Batter My Heart Three Person'd God by John Donne, He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by WB Yeats, In Heaven by Stephen Crane

Lent, 3: Meeting Christ by Night: At the Equinox by Lawrence Sail, Meeting At Night by Robert Browning, The Pillar of the Cloud by John Henry Newman, The Night by Henry Vaughan, The Dark Night by St John of the Cross trans by Kieran Kavanagh

Lent, 4: Sacrifice and the Gift of Self: Broken Dreams by WB Yeats, Mother by Lola Ridge, To Autumn by John Keats, Without Ceremony by Vassar Miller

Lent, 5: The Prince of Paradox: The Donkey by GK Chesterton, The Paradox by Paul Laurence Dunbar, I'm Thankful that my Life doth not Deceive by Henry David Thoreau, The Cross by Sarah Law, Palm Sunday by Henry Vaughan

Lent, 6: Falling into the Eyes of Christ: The Dream of the Rood by Caedmon, The Crucifier by Sally Read, Stabat Mater Dolorosa trans by Edward Caswall, from Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich

Easter, 1: Recognizing the Risen Christ: Resurrection Imperfect by John Donne, The Convert by GK Chesterton, A Birthday by Christina Rossetti, God's Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins, In the Making by Paul Murray

Easter, 2: Christ Meeting us at the Well of Loneliness: Donal Og trans by Lady Gregory, Song of Solomon 2, 8-15, Love III by George Herbert, In the Beginning by Tim Bete, Peace by Henry Vaughan

Easter, 3: Christ Walking with Us: The Way Through the Woods by Rudyard Kipling, Psalm 77, Light Shining Out of Darkness by William Cowper, The Meeting by Katherine Mansfield, Trees by Joyce Kilmer, As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Easter, 4: True Love: Upon the Book and Picture of the Seraphical Saint Teresa by Richard Crashawe, I Gave All of Myself by Teresa of Avila, trans by Sally Read, Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare, Sonnet 43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, He Remembers Forgotten Beauty by WB Yeats, Song of Solomon 3, 1-11

Easter, 5: Abide in Me and I in You: Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich, Have You Got a Brook in Your Little Heart by Emily Dickinson, My True Love Hath my Heart by Philip Sydney, Abide With Me by Francis Henry Lyte, Auguries of Innocence by William Blake   

Easter, 6: People! I Sing the Body Electric by Walt Whitman, No Man is an Island by John Donne, London by William Blake, Imitation by James Matthew Wilson, Mother O' Mine by Rudyard Kipling

New Collection: I'm delighted to say that my new collection of poetry Dawn of this Hunger will be out later this year with Angelico Press and Second Spring!


Why poetry?

Find out the answer in God and the Poet at Humanum Review. I also discuss the role of being a poet in my conversion, and my conversion in my poetry. 


Poetry Recordings

You can hear some of the poems from my early collections at the UK's Poetry Archive.



Since you’ve been gone, the pain is a tool               

mapping my body, like the iodine shot 

in a patient’s veins, sending violet through         

the body’s night, raising the mundane


traffic of the blood to startling hue. Each day        

this missing you illuminates my bones and brain   

as stained glass floods and bloodies a cathedral’s     

stone cold walls. Your absence teaches eyes              


that every shadow of a magpie on a country              

lane is you, or could be soon. But listen,                    

I am changed and nothing moves. Even                       

as I sleep I am a powerhouse, your eternal                  


absence radiant as many candles,                                  

each part of me lit and offered up for you.  



Sally Read




A little uncollected sonnet about heartache from Pelé Cox's Poets Upstairs salon.