Edward Mackay is a poet living and working in east London.

His work has been published in journals and anthologies - the most recent of which are featured here. His poetry was shortlisted for the inaugural Picador Poetry Prize (2011), commended in the Emerge Escalator competition (2010) and shortlisted for an Eric Gregory Award (2009).

His debut chapbook, Swarming is available from Salt.


‘Sharply sequenced, Mackay’s pamphlet possesses a courageous, focused, and often visceral perception, revealing its author to be equipped with that necessary ‘acuteness of the senses’, to quote Poe, that makes for good poetry. From ravensto abbats, to the Johnny Cash bassline of a tiger’s walk, to the pinnacle work on Edward Thomas and Private Gurney, these well-crafted poems reward the reader with characters and phrasings that bend our customary ways of seeing things, retelling the world through the integrity of their metaphors.’

- Rachael Boast

Edward Mackay



'Edward Mackay’s poems sound like the real thing. In fact, the pleasure of reading them again and again is heightened by the growing perception that they are indeed the real thing: their wide-ranging subject-matter and striking allusiveness are complemented by a richness of diction, an impressive intelligence, and a formal elegance at the service of his subject. The tone ranges from an almost objective detachment when dealing with ‘heavy’ emotional material, to a controlled anger, to an almost excruciating relish in the depiction of the grotesque, to poignant expressions of the human predicament see the poem of a life lived on the boundary, Stone House Asylum, 1932, about the poet Ivor Gurney’s last days.

'Here is a poet whose capacious imagination and obvious love of language is matched by his abilities to transform sensation, feeling, and intellectual awareness into true art.'

– Robert Vas Dias




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