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Samantha Walton

Samantha Walton


Samantha Walton was born within earshot of the M25 in the 1980s. She has lived in Edinburgh and London, studied literature and politics, and in 2012 completed a PhD on psychology, law and selfhood in inter-war women's writing. Samantha has been invited to read at festivals and reading series in the UK, Ireland and North America, including the Cambridge Reading Series (2010), London Cross Genre Festival (2010), SoundEye, Cork (2011), Surrey Poetry Festival (2012) and the Alloa Poetry Jamboree (2012). In 2011 she co-organised an experimental poetry conference and festival - ConVersify - at the University of Edinburgh and the Scottish Poetry Library.



Recordings made by Jow Walton in 'the box room', Edinburgh, August 2012


Poetry pamphlets

  • FORTH! (coming 2013)
  • the duplicate book (commissioned by the Detour Library, Edinburgh 2012)
  • City Breaks Weekend Songs (Critical Documents, 2011)
  • tristanundisolde (Arthur Shilling 2010)
  • PR + JL (broadside, Punch 2009)


Work appears in US/UK magazines/websites/collections including blackbox manifold, Half Circle, Sous Les Paves, Anything Anymore Anywhere, Scree, Cambridge Literary Review, Friends, Hi Zero, Herbarium, the Other Room Anthology, Intercapillary Space, Hand + Star and the Aubin and Wills Almanac.

Sample Text


Granite swept
steeple lights pierce
a collagen-silted sky,
the badly drawn pencil line
before dusk
in a softly thrumming now.
There's no easy way to explain
how architecture withstands
cannon and shot thumped
into grass
and leather, civil war renegade
short change disinterred
by football, swollen geographies
splintered from parish to parish.
Distempered beacon
shipwreck strategy
is the tidal symmetry
of the boneworks ablaze.

Atmosphere: bone dust,
glue, the breath of housebox
balance sheet neat
spilling into the sea.
Gig lamps catch
the pig's bladder stitch,
lampblack strips between each
fret of gas light.
Strobe beacon, time ball,
the beep of stocks and stones
under the scolded
boots of the Poor Law
press the kissed field.
Lit air, hum ash lagoon.
Neither sunk nor swept
but blade-thumbed
government parcels paced-out
with the beaten bone and ear from the
inside glueing.


to rub a mind across a meadow
sweet & find a nest of unfurled
feverfew & Nature -- the
synaesthetic's palm unclasping
through the mountain's guts are passed
leech through rock & mantle
to the pincer lips of white embedded grass
in gratitude reciprocate with produce
sea gestate & cloud cycles
cartoon steady
-- in certitude life
auto-tunes romance to
parthenogenesis -- so we can meet again
& make the same words equivalent
through equations

society finds itself a pharmacy
a mycelium, or the interstitial web that forms
in dense packed fungus on the cusp of putrefaction
wait on grounded jets as the ash takes a drag from
the firmament, precipitates petrol & re-hymens sky
-- today we are to each other as to a vacuum
two suckers that with all our might make the blow-back
where what is blown back is the same degraded ball of air
-- apply me to you like an invocation
high on love & insolvency
your own body will answer for the fitness of the
world & what it is
-- identical in the flyting of your capillaries

know thyself, heal
in a sunken moss hole/womb/mouth/bed
as the bruise begets a lotion
glance upwards -- force the bruise into the blue skin
to charm a lotion
note the inevitability of resolution
-- lean & be caught
wrong & I'll be wronged
limp our necks together like salt & pepper shakers &
vibrate as in sympathy
the poles shift
as a line makes circles in
penetrating water & pushes radiation surface deep
feel as capital clicks through the cosmos
echo-locate as sentiment & aerate so
the earth is passed -- each grain touched
through a segment of the long & arched possessive heart

I wrote a poem about a fucking river

woman on the pebbles will kill or be killed, asphalt river hear ye
though I have sat where torrents recall no slush
I am drawn by your ceramic explosions
your waves snapped underneath and smoothed over
with clothes laid in respect
there are beads of patience in this fell river
not where ants carry ants but where between bites
enamelled flesh can be tapped to purge freezing oils
where the cuff lavender is brought alive to claw to earth
where we are buried to stay cool and grow white hands
to reach and tuber, and come to fruition and bask without a song

so be drowned or drown over exposed leaves shaking
restless lover, who’s keeping their feet wet
carved sweat and toes resplendent knife upwards through satin
to coil imprints around the upright stones
and mark an embrace before evaporation

I am repeating on you.
this body is a factory, this room, a weaker shade of tea
molluscs have been sun dried and clasp to the billowing wood
margined by choke, unchinked and unshafted, flecking tremulous
and I'd rather root without than soot in synthetic barbered grass
and smiles of parcelled glue
when there are births of teased and tortured glimpse
to be tweezed or cuticled from the corpse of morn
I will not dive unless I know the pebbles aren't rasped
or fill a cup with oil, or clothe a gasp in brick
or seek respite in lists and chat, or segway to a revolution, while

my love has gone amongst the flids to fashion me a yearning
he was half buried in tarmac when we met
to make himself chaste: with his lute fricking he charms scimitars!
he is a silver fish in the backwash!
and how am I to explain this beetle on my breast?

go easy on the glory hole, cracked forest, its arc is in tatters
boats full of stones are held and sunk by knotted necks
green swans, nappies round catkins
the soft rabbit fingers of the weeping willow, shorn at the wrist
this creased life we live beneath pages, in surfaces
we air condition panic and would rather waste ink
than miss a chance to bite
this volume is dirty. skirts can only rustle now
peel winter off in cracks, and wrinkling hours, jellied, impoverished,
spoilt milk and spilt sleep
better the life in the bubble of privilege
basking fingers in slipped through sun
on the seam in the wall from the half cut window
better the cack femme manages fate
than banal judges grid us to oblivion


'The deft curls and turns of Walton's poetic line are set off spinning by warnings and reflections which disrupt taxonomies of language and lend her poems a particular energy and vigour. Walton finds a rhythm of syntax that sometimes leads and sometimes follows and consolidates the agency of the works themselves so that they always surprise.' -- Niamh O’Mahony.

On tristanundisolde: 'Gooey, sticky, edgy love poems ... I don't know if it was just me who felt my identity kind of float off.' -- Colin Herd

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