Walk Song: a new collection of poetry by David Herd

Gary Hughes

Professor David Herd has published his new collection of poetry, Walk Song

Written between 2015 and 2020, Walk Song (Shearsman Books) weaves in and out of the Refugee Tales project, of which Professor Herd is a co-organiser. Addressing the environments contemporary politics has made, including the border and its hostilities, the poems set out the need for a language of welcome. Through its exploration of landscape and politics, friendship and movement, the book builds, across a series of poetic sequences, towards action and hope.

Professor Herd’s previous volumes have earned considerable praise. All Just, published in 2012, was described by the Los Angeles Review of Books as ‘one of the few truly necessary works of poetry written on either side of the Atlantic in the past decade’. Through, published in 2016, was a Book of the Year in The Herald newspaper.

Writing about Walk Song, the American poet Peter Gizzi said: ‘David Herd opens his stunning new book by telling us that “it is an act of welcome.” Walk Song is a most welcome addition to what we might call an advanced lyricism. A complex human song that touches all of us. The formal achievement of the line is everywhere manifest in this work. With grace and daring, Herd has written a gorgeous and generous and necessary book.’

Professor Herd will be giving a series of readings from Walk Song in June and again in the Autumn. These include appearances at the Words and Music Festival and the Swedenborg Hall. He will officially launch his book at the University on 4 October as part of the School of English Creative Writing Reading Series. 

David Herd is Professor of Modern Literature in the School of English. He is co-organiser of the Refugee Tales project, which begins its 8th annual walk this year. His monograph, Writing Against Expulsion: Making Space for the Human in the Postwar World is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. Walk Song is available through all good book shops and from Shearsman Books.