Ian Harrow


Contact Ian: ianharrow1@gmail.com

Ian Harrow was born in Bamburgh, Northumberland, in 1945, of Scots-Irish extraction. He was head of the School of Art at Lancashire Polytechnic before taking early retirement in 2002. Since the mid-70s his work has appeared in a wide range of periodicals and magazines including the Times Literary Supplement, The Spectator, Oxford Magazine, Stand, Poetry Wales, Other Poetry, Literary Review, London Magazine, Archipelago, Poetry Ireland Review, Shop Magazine and New Walk.


He has published four collections; his latest publication Words Take Me (Lapwing Press) appeared in February 2013.


He was shortlisted for the Beverley Prize 2017. Ian lives in York.


'Ian Harrow's poems of obsessive love and lost love are strange, stark, profound parables in brief classic forms. They are not consolatory, but neither are they pessimistic because they have what one of the poems calls 'the taste of truth'. When they are painful, it is because reality is painful. Words Take Me is an utterly absorbing book that stays hauntingly in the memory. It is a major achievement.'

Bernard O'Donoghue

From Words Take Me: New and Selected Poems



The distance that you hurt me with

has taken me beyond your reach.

I have joined the rest of the world in seeing

you as you are. I sleep all night;

the objects of pleasure and regret

show up and go - you are not there

and the many things I must have said

in my delirium - as if

reported; someone else's life.