About Ian Harrow

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 publication Words Take Me (Lapwing Press) appeared in February 2013. Finishing Lines (Rack Press) appeared in 2018. The Quiet Life was published in 2019. Make Believer (Melos Press) was published in 2021.

He was shortlisted for the Beverley Prize 2017. Ian lived in York until his death in August 2022.



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


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

Words Take Me available from: www.lapwingpoetry.com