Poetry Collections

A picture containing indoor, table, chair, room

Description automatically generated

Absence Notes is my first collection. Published by Templar Poetry, it has been well received. Carol Ann Duffy, Britain’s first woman Poet Laureate and Bernard O’Donoghue had this to say when it was published:

“Michael Woods’ first collection maps events and connections which shape our lives – childhood, parenthood, friendship and love…The poems are concerned with texture, tenderness and the toughness of experience, with a fresh eye for the passions and eccentricities concealed behind our front doors. It is a debut to be proud of.” (Carol Ann Duffy)

“From the start Absence Notes is a moving and pitch-perfect tribute to family. But by the end it has broadened out to embrace the world and everything that is important and worthwhile in it.” (Bernard O’Donoghue)

A close up of text on a white background

Description automatically generated

Published by Templar Poetry, Algebra was launched on Tuesday 28th March 2017 at Keats House Museum, Hampstead in the house where that great Romantic wrote his celebrated Odes.

A large lawn in front of a house

Description automatically generated

In a world more fragmented than it has ever been, poetry needs to be part of the equation.

Algebra is an Arabic word meaning ‘to reunite sundered parts’. Omar Khayyám (1048-131), the Persian polymath and author of the Rubáiyát – made famous in English through Edward Fitzgerald’s version – was also a virtuoso mathematician. He solved various cases of the cubic equation, one of the greatest advances in algebra. In its symbolic representation of numbers and quantities in formulae and equations, restoring what is missing, it achieves its end with poetic elegance. In the eighteenth century, someone with a broken bone would seek a doctor who would perform ‘an algebra’ by setting it to ensure the fracture healed, the sundered reunited. Analogically, this is so often what poetry tries to do, attempting to reconcile so many disparate things.

A person standing in front of a table

Description automatically generated

Opening Time is my latest collection of poems published by Templar Poetry. Centred on a public house, the fifty-two sonnets in the book celebrate community, friendship, music and conviviality.

By happy coincidence, a sonnet is the shape of a fairly standard beer mat and some of these poems were first printed on them. A special edition printing of the title poem was typeset by Stan Greer at The Graven Image Press.

Books available through this site:

Opening Time


Absence Notes

Study Guide (Available Through Amazon)

York Notes Advanced – Carol Ann Duffy, Selected Poems

Commentaries for GCSE and A-level studies