I’m excited to bring you something a bit different today. Writer and poet Sarah Salway has been inspiring me ever since I first discovered she read my blog (that’s how we first connected — I even interviewed her back in May 2009.) Sarah is Canterbury Laureate and Royal Literature Fund Fellow at the London School of Economics (I know, right? She’s a proper writer!). She’s written three novels and a collection of short stories, and as if that’s not enough, Sarah is also a wickedly perceptive and luminous poet. It’s this last hat she’s wearing for us today to celebrate the launch of her first book of poetry, the fabulously titled You Do Not Need Another Self Help Book. I’ve read the collection and loved it so much — friends, go buy this book. Poetry was (and still is) so important to me when I was healing through my bereavement. Sometimes we just don’t have the words to describe how we feel, which is when the poet sweeps in with her magical eyes and puts into words that which we cannot.

When Sarah asked if I’d like to take part in her Virtual Poetry Reading, I knew exactly which poem I wanted her to read. There’s something extra special about hearing a poet read her own words… you’ll see what I mean when you listen.

So, enough with the chatter. Here’s the very wise and lovely Ms Sarah Salway reading my favourite poem from her new book… The Interruption

The Interruption by Sarah Salway (mp3)

The Interruption

(for Lia)


When I tell my daughter I’m working,

she nods, pulls her chair right up

to mine, elbows out, breath hot

with cheese and onion crisps.


She chooses a red pencil, starts

chewing, sighs over her blank paper,

tells me to shush. She draws us, stick

mother holding stick daughter’s hand.


Look, she says. I try to concentrate

on my work but she’s learnt

from me too well. Really look.

Clumsy fingers twist my hair


until we fight. I say she has to go now,

to let me get on with Mummy’s work.

Outside she sits so close to the door

I hear every rustle, every sigh so loud


that the note pushed under my door

comes like a white flag. Dear Mummy,

my daughter writes. This is me.


Amazing, non?

Sarah has very generously offered to giveaway a signed copy of her book to one lucky soul, so if you’d like to win, simply leave a comment on this post answering the following question: what sweet interruptions do you have to deal with each day? Kids? Pets? Twitter? ;-)

I’ll announce the winner’s name on Friday.

Now head over to Sarah’s blog to follow the rest of her Pop Up Poetry Tour! x