Into the Yell

into the yell with award cropped

Third Prize in International Rubery Book Award 2011

The blurb: In this, her first poetry collection, Sarah James penguin-flaps past the chopstick legs of flamingos to give the reader a heady dose of closely observed reality.

Into The Yell draws the reader along trails of squashed stars, tugged down to earth by tangles of seaweed girls. A grandmother grins with too many teeth, a boy collects clouds, and a mariner makes a deadly mistake. We travel with Sarah between Rouen and Haiti via Buxton, hospital waiting rooms and the Randolph Hotel, all watched over by Blake’s tiger, stripes alight.

Prepare to be amused, warmed, horrified, comforted, inspired – but watch out for beauty’s sting in the tail.

ISBN: 978-1906451240

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Into the Yell is now also available from:

Waterstones in Worcester – The Shambles, Worcester

Three Counties Bookshop in Ledbury High Street

Ledbury Books and Maps in Ledbury High Street

The endorsements:

“Sarah James’s first collection shows an imagination that can surprise and delight, as well as skill and confidence in her craft. I am already looking forward to seeing what she does next.”
(Angela France – poet and features editor of Iota)

“Sarah James’s poems are earthy, sensuous, often sexy, peopled by resonant characters, such as Shakespeare’s Juliet and a stiletto-heel-wearing Innuit. Always clear-eyed and compassionate, she explores the visceral realities of the female body; the pain of infertility and post-natal depression with language that pins down her subject with surgical precision.”

(Catherine Smith – award-winning poet and Poetry Book Society/Guardian ‘Next Generation’ poet – June 2004)

“Sarah James’ poems are full of colour, a life-affirming response  to both the domestic and the fantastic. Nevertheless, they  are aware of darker shades, the grimmer side of life, relationships and the imagination. This is a varied, thought- provoking and enjoyable first collection.”

(Jacqui Rowe – Poetry Society trustee, co-director of Flarestack Poets )

“Sarah James deciphers the world with a wise young eye; attentive to complexity, she makes her own sense of things – and expresses it in language that is often dramatic, and always engaging.”

(Meredith Andrea – co-director of Flarestack Poets)


“Sarah James’ first collection is wonderfully mature and ambitious, charting a line across the moments in our shared lives that characterise and change us. No words are wasted…”

(Magdalena Ball, full review at Compulsive Reader at )

From an ‘Iota 89’ Review of ‘Into the Yell’ by Lucy Tyler

“‘No Referral’ is one of many poems here which make ‘Into the Yell’ an assured debut,”

“The poetry then, like a person becomes cavernous; it contains an origami of imagistic amalgamations, linguistic experimentation and anecdotes shaded by absurd humour:”

“The journey each poem takes is far reaching, the points of reference extreme. We move from fairytale to pop-culture, to medieval historical, medical, toward the personal, relic object and precious memory. Indeed, the title, ‘Into the Yell’, is to do with discursiveness, the extremes and hallucinogenic excess of linguistic expression, but ultimately these poems still manage to be comprehensible and accessible despite their intriguing use of the surreal:”

“These poems are brave.”

“The hodgepodge of real and un-real, responsibilities and desires, memory and fantastical escapisms do speak pertinently not just about women, but about the way we must live our lives, the way we do live them – through stories, through metaphors, through abstractions and wilful escapisms.”


Other reviews can be found at:
and at: