The Human Portion

“Nicola Warwick’s poems take place in entrancing, liminal territory in which the human sensibility encounters the natural world. Deep kinship, mystery and otherness are conveyed through acute observation and transformative imagination. The language is precise and often surprises. Take, for instance ‘the sky, red as a swallow's throat’ (‘Late high summer’), or ‘roots easing through earth / were a voice making itself unheard’ (‘And the trees (said)’). These poems reveal a special sensitivity and to read them is to feel our ‘Human Portion’ enlarged. Highly recommended.” Moniza Alvi

“‘How to speak of this’ Warwick asks in these nuanced, thoughtful poems concerning landscape, seascape and wildlife. Encompassing intimate losses of family and nature, the collection delicately explores our ‘egg-tight grief’ in distilled moments of striking imagery and accomplishment. Ultimately, these poems hope that we may find in nature, as  ‘The Courteous Farmer’ does, a ‘second heart’.” Heidi Williamson

The Human Portion is very liminal and very grounded.

ISBN: 978-1-7398838-2-9 

36 pages               

R.R.P. £6.50

Winner of the poetry category in the East Anglian Book Awards 2023!

A sample poem can be enjoyed below.

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The Human Portion (with p&p options)

The Chitterings

Night by night, I listen
for the soft scrape of their claws
as they slip out from under the eaves.

You doze beside me, unaware 
of the little interlopers who stir only 
as we are readying ourselves for sleep.

I wait for the dusky light to fade, 
for their ragged shapes to take to the air, 
for them to stutter like ticker-tape into the dark.

My ears are tuned like a child’s for their speech,
their squeals and calls, a quiet chit-chittering
as they gather for the off.

You say it’s all in my head, these creatures
that will not silence, suggest I still them 
with something like mindfulness.

On those nights when sleep won’t come, 
I watch from the window for their exodus,
count them out, count them all back in.


“Nicola Warwick has sharp powers of observation which, allied to her skilled use of imagery, make for richly evocative poems. However, she also goes beyond description, sometimes even into the surreal, using nature as a way into deeper feelings.

[…] I sense an underlying yearning to reconcile the human with the natural world in this mesmerising, closely-observed pamphlet.”

Sue Wallace-Shaddad, OPOI, Sphinx, full review here

"Her poems are moments of unsettling tension between the symmetry we see of ourselves in nature, and our oblivious disconnect. Warwick’s subtle glimpses of the individuals in her poems are unpredictably moving. Warwick shows us trying to bring the universe closer. Going to sleep, we still hope the birds outside call us to join our portion to the whole, as: ‘I watch them from the window for their exodus, / Count them out, count them all back in’."

Wendy KyleLondon Grip, full review here.

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