Say Something Back

Denise Riley

2016 Nominee

Forward Prize for Poetry Best Collection

2017 Nominee

T. S. Eliot Prize

2017 Nominee

Costa Poetry Award

2017 Nominee

Griffin International Poetry Prize

2017 Winner

Roehampton Poetry Prize

See more book details
19 May 2016
96 pages

Say Something Back will allow readers to see just why the name of Denise Riley has been held in such high regard by her fellow poets for so long. The book reproduces A Part Song, a profoundly moving document of grieving and loss, and one of the most widely admired long poems of recent years. Elsewhere these poems become a space for contemplation of the natural world and of physical law, and for the deep consideration of what it is to invoke those who are absent. But finally, they extend our sense of what the act of human speech can mean - and especially what is drawn forth from us when we address our dead. Lyric, intimate, acidly witty, unflinchingly brave, Say Something Back is a deeply moving book by one of our finest poets, and one destined to introduce Riley's name to a wide new readership.

It sometimes seems that contemporary poetry divides into two sorts - those poems that did not need to be written and those written out of necessity. Denise Riley belongs to the second category - her writing is perfectly weighted, justifies its existence. It is impossible not to want to "say something back" to each of her poems in recognition of their outstanding quality. Her voice is strong and beautiful - an imperative in itself . . . remarkable


Denise Riley's new collection Say Something Back is a moving reminder that she's one of the best poets around

Andrew Motion, Guardian

The best thing I've read in ages

Max Porter, author of Grief Is the Thing with Feathers