Jam (Smith/Doorstop, 2016) which received an Arts Council England Grant for the Arts. Available here.

‘Cliff Yates is one of my favourite poets, writing in an idiom I’d like to call “Skelmersdale Mystic/Domestic.” If he was in a band that band would produce hit singles that would linger in your head for years and if he was a greengrocer his vegetables would always be startling shapes. There’s childhood here, and love, and a way of seeing the world with the wrappers off that is, ultimately, Yatesian’ – Ian McMillan

‘In his own way I think the view of England that Cliff portrays is as distinctive as those created by Hughes or Larkin…It is a vision of in-between places in which nothing much happens or promises to: where the horses snack on bike chains, boats are called Freedom, dogs run sideways, and the seaside dogs are virtual’ – Anthony Wilson, Lifesaving Poems (Bloodaxe, 2015)

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Frank Freeman’s Dancing School (revised edition, Knives, Forks & Spoons Press, 2015) which received an Arts Council England Writer’s Award. Available here.

‘Cliff Yates’s poems are among the most exciting, challenging and unpredictable of any being written now or for donkey’s years’ – Peter Sansom

‘A sort of martial art: it stands there looking slight and friendly but in reality it’s using the reader’s own strength against herself till she ends up flat on the mat not knowing what hit her’ – Janet Fisher

‘I enjoyed Cliff Yates’ Frank Freeman’s Dancing School… There’s [an] unsettling, strangeness to his poetry. At first sight it can appear to transplant something of Geoff Hattersley’s style from South Yorkshire to the Midlands, but it soon becomes clear that it’s heading somewhere rather different. Yates gives seemingly plain language the smallest of tweaks to suddenly switch perspectives again and again. It’s a book I’ll be coming back to’ – Matt Merritt, Polyolbion


Selected Poems ebook (Smith/Doorstop, 2014). Brings together poems from Henry’s Clock, Frank Freeman’s Dancing School and Bike, Rain, many of them revised. Available here.

Bike Rain 1 copy smallBike, Rain (Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2013). Available here.


Frank Freeman’s Dancing School (Salt Publishing, 2009), which received an Arts Council England Writers’ Award. (See above for revised edition.)


Emergency Rations (poetry pamphlet; Smith/Doorstop, 2004)

‘Yates is an absolute master… he stretches and dares you to properly understand what you are reading. He makes you want to read and re-read his work.…. Technically stunning and always there are more questions than answers’ – Steve Anderson, New Hope International, on Emergency Rations

‘Philosophy runs smudged into daily life…he offers us the surprise born of unconstrained freedom….that combination of precision with the seemingly random that gives this short collection such expansive range’ – Ben Felsenburg, Incwriters on Emergency Rations

‘If you like poetry firmly rooted in the real world, the everyday, this is not the book for you. You will be seduced into thinking it is, because everyday situations seem to be what is being described, but you will soon find that prisms and mirrors, flashbacks and flash-forwards, parallel universes etc. come into play. You are never where you think you are, which for me is one of the purposes of poetry’ – Lyn Moir, Sphinx Chapbook Review Magazine, on Emergency Rations


Henry’s Clock (Smith/Doorstop, 1999) which received the Aldeburgh prize and won the Poetry Business book & pamphlet competition. Available here.

‘Poets like Cliff Yates only come along every so often, like eclipses or rare migrating birds, and, like an eclipse or a rare migrating bird, Cliff Yates should be gazed at, parked near, and written about. People often talk about poets being fresh, and they mean fresh like bread, likely to go stale. Cliff Yates is fresh like the very first crack of dawn is fresh: unique, unrepeatable, full of promise’ – Ian McMillan

‘An authentic new voice. Funny poems with a strong social conscience: accessible, quirky and memorable’ – Aldeburgh Poetry Festival



Jumpstart Poetry in the Secondary School (Poetry Society 1999, 2004). Available here.

Jumpstart is the best aid to the teaching of poetry since Sandy Brownjohn’s work of the 1980s” – Gordon Wilson in The Teacher.

Jumpstart is a classic of its kind: inventive, inspiring and instructive” – Andrew Motion.


Oranges: Poems from Maharishi School, foreword by Andrew Motion (Maharishi School Press, 2001) a TES Book of the Week

‘The poems in this book are of an astonishingly high standard…at least two of the poets here are distinctive enough to warrant books of their own. This is where the difference is made between these pieces and poems produced in hundreds of one-off workshops with poets…few teachers or pupils have the breadth of reading to know when a poem is made better by a particular adjustment, and the editing skills to know how to make those changes’ – Sian Hughes, Times Educational Supplement.


14 Ways of Listening to the Archers (poetry pamphlet; Smith/Doorstop, 1994)

One for the Road, edited by Helen Mort and Stuart Maconie (Smith/Doorstop, 2017)
Lifesaving Poems, edited by Anthony Wilson (Boodaxe Books, 2015)
An Educated Desire: for Robert Sheppard at sixty (Knives, Forks and Spoons, 2015)
Laurie Lee: Curator of Eccentricity (Yew Tree Press, 2014)
A First Poetry Book, ed. Pie Corbett and Gaby Morgan (London, Macmillan Children’s Books, 2012)
Not in So Many Words: poems and commentaries on poems (Smith/Doorstop, 2005)
Plant Care: A festschrift for Mimi Khalvati ed. E.A. Markham (Sheffield: Linda Lee Books, 2004)
Writers’ Awards 2003 (London: Arts Council England, 2003)
The Forward Book of Poetry 2001 (Forward Publishing, 2001)
Listening to the Birth of Crystals ed A. Taylor & A. Corkish (Paula Brown, 2003)
A Fresh Look and a Fresh Listen: National Poetry Day 2000 (Poetry Society, 2000)
Journeys: National Poetry Day 2001 (Poetry Society, 2001)
Draft # 2 (Albert Poets, 1995)
Fat City (Dog)
Spoils: The Poetry Business Anthology, 1991 (Smith/Doorstop, 1991)
Against the Grain ed. Ian McMillan (Thomas Nelson, 1989)

Manchester Stories 5: Caesura, (supplement in City Life Magazine, April 2003)
Hyphen (Comma Press, 2003)

The North, The Rialto, PN Review, Stand, London Magazine, International Times, Morning Star, Smith’s Knoll, Great Works, Ink Sweat and Tears, And Other Poems, Cake, Iron, Dog, Foolscap, Gists and Piths, Harry’s Hand, Antiphon, Liar Republic, Molly Bloom, NATE News, Neon Highway, New Generation, Orbis, Outposts, Oxford Magazine, Peggy’s Blue Skylight, Poetry News (Poetry Society), Scratch, Seam, Smoke, Stride Magazine, Sunk Island Review, Tears in the Fence, The Echo Room,  The Slab, Times Educational Supplement, The Wide Skirt, Uncompromising Positions, Under the Radar.

‘Flying: A Poetics’ in Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh: Manifestos and Non Manifestos, ed. Rupert Loydell (Salt, 2009)

BBC Radio 4 ‘The Learning Curve’ (12th October, 1999)
BBC World Service series ‘Working Out the Words’ (for which I acted as consultant; Spring 2001)

‘Inspiring Young People to Write Poems’ in Making Poetry Happen: Transforming the Poetry Classroom edited by Sue Dymoke, Anthony Wilson, Andrew Lambirth and Myra Barrs. (Bloomsbury, 2015) Details here.

English in Education, Writing in Education, Arvon Journal, Secondary English Magazine, Times Educational Supplement (various editions including Poems for Refugees feature, May-July 2002 & guest poet for TES Young Poet, autumn term 1999), Launch into Poetry: Lesson Plans for Secondary School Members (Poetry Society), Poetry Class (Poetry Society website), Primary English Magazine, Speech and Drama, Poetry News (Poetry Society).