Peter Daniels

Peter Daniels



Peter Daniels is a British poet, born in 1954 in Cambridge. He grew up in Birmingham, and has lived in London since 1982, working for many years at the Religious Society of Friends as a librarian and then as publications manager. His poetry collections are Counting Eggs (Mulfran Press, 2012), and A Season in Eden (Gatehouse Press, 2016).


He has won poetry competitions including the Arvon, Ledbury and TLS, and published pamphlets with Smith/Doorstop and HappenStance.  His translations of Vladislav Khodasevich from Russian (Angel Classics, 2013) were shortlisted for the Rossica, Oxford-Weidenfeld and Read Russia awards. He has twice held a Hawthornden Fellowship.


Peter studied at Reading University, Birkbeck University of London, and Sheffield Hallam University, and is now embarking on a Creative Writing PhD at Goldsmiths University of London, focusing on truth and beauty in his own poems and in a critical thesis on how other poets handle such subject matter, including Mark Doty.


All You Need

All you need is a pad, a stubby pencil

and the end of a road at a sea cliff.

You rest your mind there,

leaning your shadow on the sea.

Stroll up to the hut you share with spiders,

brew your cup of tea from a billy-can

and sip it in the shelter of a drystone wall.

You can attend to each arising moment,

an edge where you stand that gives

back-country behind you, and rough ocean

to launch across, when you finish with land.

All I need is people passing by, and bricks

gathering spaces between them
in a city I used to keep away from.

Once I’d wonder: how could they survive

in air so important, shared with the royal

and famous, brushing Parliament and Piccadilly.

Now I’m in Zone 2, the neck of the whirlpool:

the Queen could reach me on the 73.

Tracing the streets needs a sharpened pencil.

I’ll follow up what rages through my hinterland,

and fetch you a moment on the City Road.






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