By Steve Urwin


"This is the second volume of poetry from Consett born Steve Urwin and if you're in need of someone to articulate the dismal bleakness of making a sandwich with some 19p Netto hot-dogs, then he's your man. This is a bleak account of northern life with Urwin turning his gaze onto grim bus journeys, the fact that there's never anything on television and the general fug of everyday life (Sample line: "I spend the afternoon in a grey/ early February Friday silence").

"There aren't many horrific incidents, but something much worse: the general creeping terror that can slowly strangle you as you go about your everyday business. You can get some of the ideas of the content from the poems' titles which include: Bus ticket and a Biro, Boiling Kettle and Silent Telephone.
"It isn't all unremitting misery however, and just as he can find the pain in everyday life, so he can find those little shoots of joy that can give you a little jolt of happiness.

"Unrelenting, honest and told with great economy, this is a very fine collection indeed."

- DP, The Crack (Book of the Month, September 2009)


"Steve's poetry performances are filled with a frenetic, angry, joyful energy which pervades the pages of Hypomaniac.
"There are also beautiful moments of detached observation and hyper-realism here too. These poems speak to the 'obsessed, the depressed, the dispossessed' but they also speak to everyone interested in the states of mind that we sometimes own, and that sometimes own us.
"'Thank your lucky stars for endurance' he says. I say, thank our lucky stars for someone who endures and writes this well about it."

- Kate Fox, BBC Radio 4


"Hypomaniac is an extraordinary achievement, brave and honest without being merely confessional. These poems are perfect miniatures of bleak Consett-realism, swinging between a barely controlled rage and a huge and kindly sadness at the way things are. I can think of few poets who can write so precisely about despair."

- Andy Croft, Smokestack Books


"Steve Urwin's work is on the edge. It's real, keying into the vulnerable, 'the nobodies'. Like a road crash you want to turn away from but read on and on. It's hypnotic. Read it now."

- Tom Kelly, poet and playwright




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