Paul McGrane


Paul McGrane is the co-founder of the Forest Poets poetry collective in Walthamstow and he’s also been The Poetry Society’s Membership Manager since 2006.

He runs the Poetry@3 open mic at the Poetry Café, London, on the first Thursday of the month. In 2016 he was Highly Commended in the YorkMix Poetry Competition and Longlisted in the South Bank Poetry Competition. His debut poetry collection, Elastic Man, is published with Indigo Dreams


Death is always asking me for poems

Death is always asking me for poems,

jealous of the time I spend on politics

and love. It’s not what she needs from

this relationship, she says. The juicy

death she dangles I find so hard to resist.

Like the girl who lost her mother’s hand,

the man who threw his baby from the tower.

The more she demands the more I decline,

even when we reach an anniversary. She’s

tried to simplify the deal, sends me handy

rhyming words for murder, a long list

of lives she’ll claim are accidents of birth

or accidents. She knows that when the living

have read how she must feel she will be happy.  


Welcome to my Country 

Dear prospective citizen

thank you for your application


a State response will soon be sent

but here’s mine:


I hope this soil will not for long

be foreign to your feet


that my weather

will be your weather


that my cities will offer their freedom

my countryside the right to roam


I’ll be standing in Arrivals

with your name