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Hello. I'm Richard Meier, the author of Search Party (Picador, 2019) and Misadventure (Picador, 2012), which won the Picador Poetry Prize, was a Poetry Book Society recommendation and was short-listed for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. 

You can get in touch at

Links to poems online


After the miracle (The Friday Poem)

Winter morning (Picador website)

For a bridge suicide (The Guardian)

Tables for two (The Guardian)

Portrait of a woman in the first weeks of pregnancy (The Guardian)

Crocuses (BBC's The Verb)

At a porcelain collection (New Statesman)

Fabric (Granta)

The achievement of naturalism in Green sculpture (Magma)

Muscle memory (The Friday Poem)

The daffodil (Back story) (Troudabour Poetry Prize)

An east coast resident stays put (The Guardian)

The bench (Edward Thomas Memorial Fellowship Competition)

Poems from Search Party

First night home


Despite the rain, like gravel, 

the gardensful of air hurled

at walls, forced down the brickwind

instrument of the chimney, 

this house will not crumble. 


We know this, yet we quail - 

for we have brought home fear

all bundled. And only 

this aching, anchoring

vigilance for a shield. 


On a new one-way system

as if the whole earth had been greased

some great agreement reached

as if this were a reasonable exchange

for speed, such breeziness

as if we could be suited to a world

with nothing oncoming

could be trusted to a sphere

where one cannot stop

as if we were a river


As when, aged nine, not really

thinking, I dived beneath

the three-quarters unfurled

tarpaulin of a swimming pool

and, short of air, surfaced

to find between the water

and the covering only

the meagrest light, and gasped, 

grasping what nothing meant, 

and dived again, then mad-swam

and made it to the end, 

just, you might thing unharmed. 

Poems from Misadventure

​​​​Winter morning​​​

Shyly coated in greys, blacks, browns –
to keep us out of sight of the cold –​
we weren’t expecting this this morning: sun​

​​​and shadows, like a summer’s evening, like summer
teasing. And not quite under the shelter on
the northbound platform, an old man, the sun​​​​

behind him, just his crown ablaze; and heading
southbound, a woman inching ever nearer
the platform edge, the light a tear​

across her midriff, ribcage, shoulders, closer
and closer that dearest thing, completeness,
all her darkness light at the one time.​


For a bridge suicide

From four, six, eight feet, maybe even ten,
water’s a giving, all-embracing thing.​

Above that, it begins to darken, starts
to slap, to harden, till by fifty or sixty​

limbs get broken. Still, even at that height,
you feel if you just got your entry right​

you could elicit softness, could slip in...​

And yet, for all that, there's a point​

when water’s transformation is complete,
a point at which the whole of the earth’s surface​

is uniformly unforgiving. As
she neared the top of the bridge’s central stanchion​

this was the point she recognised. And let go​

Da capo

​"That's strange", I'll think, some afternoons

and make to turn off the bathroom light
I’m all but sure I’ve not left on,​

only to catch, for the umpteenth time,
the frosted windows splintering sunlight
like it’s hitting water, and stand –​

as one who needs reminding – stunned
how sometimes there’s just so much light,
and how it is I never learn.


'There was something in Richard Meier's turn of mind, the precision of his ear, the quiet strangeness of his imagery, the tenderness and clarity of his address, that made us want to read his poems again and again. And each time we returned to them there was more to discover, more to be moved by'.

Don Paterson, on judging the Picador Poetry Prize


'This is one of those rare books that will cheer without patronising, and show you how to speak past grief and silence while still holding all that grief and all that silence'.

David Morley, Poetry Review


'Meier has a musical ear, and a command of pause and shape that is at once informal and precise. We shall hear much of him.'

Elaine Feinstein in The Times

'Richard Meier's brilliant first collection displays a fine sense of humour. The title poem, featuring a man enamoured with a high-pressure patio cleaner who turns it on himself, shoots from the comic to the tragic. "Unlard" is a beautiful word for an ugly process.'

Mark Sanderson in the Sunday Telegraph



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