Talking to Grief

By Poetry Pharmacy

By Poetry Pharmacy

It's Grief Awareness Week 2-8 December. If you're struggling with loss or know someone who is, some good books out there can offer wisdom, advice, and comforting words which might help, even just a little bit.

Here are some Poetry Pharmacy recommendations.


For a very comprehensive list (which includes books for children, fiction and poetry too) take a look at https://

Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

Max Porter

£8.99 £8.36

Time Lived, Without Its Flow

Denise Riley

£9.99 £9.29

Say Something Back

Denise Riley

£10.99 £10.22

Poems Of Mourning

Peter Washington

£10.99 £10.22

Poems and Readings for Funerals

Julia Watson

£8.99 £8.36

In Memoriam: Thirty Poems of Bereavement

Various Authors

£6.95 £6.46

This second edition of this much-loved anthology contains poems of bereavement selected for their beauty and for the sense of consolation that they offer.

Do Not Go Gentle

Neil Astley

£7.99 £7.43

Poems of Life and Death

£6.99 £6.50

With the End in Mind: How to Live and Die Well

Kathryn Mannix

£9.99 £9.29

Undying: A Love Story

Michel Faber

£9.99 £9.29

A Grief Observed

C.S. Lewis

£8.99 £8.36


Siofra McSherry and Emma Wright

£5.00 £4.65

Burying the Wren

Deryn Rees-Jones


Her sequence of 'Dogwoman' poems, which draws on the work of artist Paula Rego, is an extended elegy to her late husband, the poet and critic Michael Murphy. Above all these are poems of the body, ...the blue heartstopping pulse at the wrist , which are alive to the world and the transformative qualities of love.

The M Pages

Colette Bryce

£10.99 £10.22

My Little Brother

Christel Wiinblad

£7.99 £7.43

My Little Brother is a sequence of ten poems by Christel Wiinblad, which work both as a loving portrait and celebration of her younger sibling, and an unflinching, direct account of his battle with schizophrenia.

Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief

David Kessler

£14.99 £13.94

Gifts the Mole Gave Me

Wendy Pratt

£9.99 £9.29

A deep vein of love and grief runs beneath Wendy Pratt's rather wonderful new collection, whether she is writing about her lost daughter, missed birthdays, cockerels silenced to placate the neighbours, a virus under a microscope or a defiant run beside the North Sea. A sureness of touch, a startling image, and an ability to move the reader mark this Yorkshire poet as something very special indeed.’ Carole Bromley


The School of Life

£8.00 £7.44

The Smallest Lights In The Universe

Sara Seager

£16.98 £15.79


Helen Calcutt

£7.50 £6.97

In September 2017, Helen Calcutt’s brother Matthew took his own life. He was 40 years old. ‘… the phone rang / and when I answered it / you’d killed / yourself, and that was the start / of you being dead.’ This is the starting point of an astonishing new pamphlet of poems by Helen Calcutt. At times harrowing; at others hopeful – always deeply felt and beautifully realised. These poems display the poise and precision of a poet already at the height of her powers, writing the un-writable, weaving the terrible into something relatable and filled with the light of understanding. How do we survive the tumultuous presence of grief? How does the trauma of losing a loved one to suicide affect, our identity, our creativity, and our ability to love? How – in a world shattered by incomparable change and severe loss – do we build a life from the wreckage? Because we do. Somehow, we do. “A highly accomplished set of poems which consider the ways grief, guilt and loss attach themselves to both the family and the natural world for restoration. What Calcutt does within these pages is acknowledge our ability to be resilient, while never dismissing the private moments we struggle and suffer to keep ourselves going. At times devastating, at other times buoyant, but always totally human.” – Anthony Anaxagorou

What Have You Lost?

Naomi Shihab Nye and Michael Nye


The Heart and the Bottle

Oliver Jeffers

£6.99 £6.50


Sumita Chakraborty

£10.99 £10.22

Marram: Memories of Sea and Spider Silk

Leonie Charlton

£12.99 £12.08

Dog Years

Mark Doty

£14.99 £13.94

The Shadow Elephant

Nadine Robert and Valerio Vidali

£13.99 £13.01

The Madness of Grief: A Memoir of Love and Loss

Reverend Richard Coles

£16.98 £15.79


Martin Figura

£8.99 £8.36

Her Birth

Rebecca Goss

£9.94 £9.24

Aviary of Small Birds

Karen McCarthy Woolf

£9.94 £9.24

Notes on Grief

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

£10.00 £9.30


Chrissy Williams

£10.99 £10.22

The Essential Guide to Life After Bereavement: Beyond Tomorrow

Mary Jordan and Judy Carole Kauffmann


Blue Nights

Joan Didion

£8.99 £8.36

The Year of Magical Thinking

Joan Didion

£9.99 £9.29

Sleeping Letters

Marie-Elsa R. Bragg

£12.99 £12.08

Reasons to Stay Alive

Matt Haig

£9.99 £9.29

The Way We Die Now

Seamus O'Mahony

£8.99 £8.36


Douglas Dunn

£10.99 £10.22

Poems of Healing

£12.00 £11.16

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