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

The Quiet Life published by Melos Press





You're not ready for the seasons

to go out of fashion - reliant as ever

on the shutting of doors

against September chill,

on streets emptied of tourists,

schoolchildren, the usefully employed.


Not ready to let go what might be

the last of the quiet life, before all

the hiding-places have been exposed

and the mind-reading technologies kick n

and the innocence of solitude

and thought itself, is no more.


Here's to seeping birdsong, in fields

of marshy calm; of wondering which

is rain-cloud, which the lateness of afternoon

as your diligent neighbour wheels

her bicycle and her day

through the gates and home.










The 'quiet' here might be the quiet authority of Harrow's writing...Harrow is, essentially, a contemporary metaphysical, reflecting, mostly on the process of ageing.


Ian Pople  Manchester Review