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The English Disease by Lydia Towsey


  • Image of The English Disease by Lydia Towsey
  • Image of The English Disease by Lydia Towsey
  • Image of The English Disease by Lydia Towsey

The English Disease has been coined as a term to describe everything from missed penalties and vitamin D deficiency – to no sex please, tea and rickets. Exploring contemporary world events, including the international migration crisis and the British EU Referendum, alongside the lived experience of becoming
a mother in a year of celebrity death and continental fracture, this collection examines the condition afresh.

With zombies, cats, Bowie, break-ups and the weather; eating disorders, buses, Beatrix Potter, queueing, nature, war and nursery rhymes. The English Disease draws upon class, colonialism and other undead matters to explore identity at a time of now… apocalypse?


‘Lydia Towsey takes on England in poems that are impassioned, funny,
despairing, elated, direct, and full of out-loud life. They are poems to be
performed but you don’t need to have been there, she’ll come to you.’
George Szirtes

‘An exuberantly inventive feast of a collection, happily ricocheting from
slapstick horror ballads to deadpan haiku and shot through with a thrilling
willingness to experiment with form, all of it given emotional weight and
resonance by the poet’s committed articulation of her longing to make
sense of what it is to live in contemporary England.’
Francesca Beard

‘She writes for a generation that must find a way. This is a brave collection
and adds to the strength of new English poetry.’
Dr Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze MBE