Visitors Book Visitors Book

The Visitors Book

Paperback: 67 pages. £5.99
Penniless Press: 2014
I.S.B.N. 978-1-291-96018-1

Mark Ward’s debut collection Thunder Alley was a semi-autobiographical account of the diversity and divisions within his hometown of Blackburn. The Visitor’s Book expands on this theme, exploring the relationship between people and their environment. It collates and chronicles the overlooked, the ordinary and the remarkable: the things that pass and those that endure, into a rich seam of narrative poems. 

"Vivid, sharp, memorable observations of the places that have touched Ward's eye and heart; the tone is characteristic of the man; poems worth reading!" Jack Mapanje

The Visitors Book (Click here to purchase)

THUNDER ALLEY (Click here for Amazon Kindle version)

Paperback: 48 pages. £7.99
Aussteiger Publications: 2008.
Reprinted 2009, 2011
I.S.B.N. 978 1 872764 14 6

Named after a former town-centre street, Thunder Alley is a remarkable account of contemporary Blackburn and its people. This is a place where, in the author’s hands, even the mundane seems extraordinary, from the disabled veteran Mr Brown who escapes into a jigsaw; the Polish Barber unable to forget, to the genial tramp who simply vanished.
The language is fresh and immediate; the poems are lucid and by turns, harrowing, stark, playful and wise. It is Blackburn, but you could be anywhere.

Buy Mark Ward’s Thunder Alley and you won’t be disappointed.
These drawn-from-life poems are sharply written, deftly observed and shot with humour.
What more could you possibly want?
John Hartley Williams

This is the world as we know it, or think we know it: the focus is intense and compelling, but always eloquent and lyrical. The narratives are full of unsettling detail, edgy and profound,
but compassion underpins everything. This is a moving collection, full of wisdom and insight, beautifully crafted, it holds a mirror up to the world and says: look, this is what we are.
Neil Rollinson

These poems are stubbornly human in the face of inhumanity, and infused with that hint of the Romantic, where even as despair and emptiness is faced unflinchingly they rage utterly against the dying of the light.
Richard Stanton

Mark Ward Poet


Pamphlet: 32 pages. £5.00
Aussteiger Publications: 2007
I.S.B.N. 978 1 872764 13 9

An eclectic selection of poems taken from a number of publications including:
Life in my Living room (1993) and The Dark Unquiet Hills (1995).

Mark Ward has heard the music [of the Heights]. Composed of wind and mist and solitude. It keens between his lines. Listen…’
Robert Swindells


Rebecca Chesney/Mark Ward
Pamphlet: Art/Poetry. 32 pages. £5.00
I.S.B.N: pending

Sharing stories of childhood holidays in Morecambe prompted the joint venture that is ‘Five Rivers’. This collaboration between a poet and an artist is much more than nostalgia.  These photographs, and the installation that they accompany, reflect the biological richness of Morecambe Bay.  Rebecca brings a scientific mind to her creations. She has collected and tested water samples from 18 points around Morecambe Bay, a site of international scientific significance.  The results form the installation, creating a contemporary picture of the area to both reflect and balance the narrative of Morecambe, as described in the poems.
Mark’s poems react with Rebecca’s work, giving a context that is both richly personal and universal.  Mark charts the resort’s heyday and decline, from the construction of the power station to the advent of the package holiday.  He measures this change in shifts of rhythm which mirror the increasing pace of modern life, before applauding its current renaissance.
The people are returning. This book, and accompanying exhibition, is a tribute not only to Morecambe Bay but to a generation that is managing to put the magic back into the places of its youth.
Andrew Forster



Mark Ward with Ann Dinsdale and Robert Swindells
Paperback 73pages. £3.99
Hendon Publishing Co Ltd. 2007
I.S.B.N: 978 0 860671 60 2

An entertaining and informative guide to Haworth and the surrounding moor, written as a series of four easy-to-follow walks. Intended as a companion for both the casual and the more discerning visitor, this delightful book should be of interest to all those who are aware but as yet unfamiliar with the colourful history of this high moorland village which inspired some of the greatest novels in the English language.

The writing is clear – the background to Grimshaw and the Evangelical Revival is masterfully encapsulated in three sentences – but the strength of the book is that it gives the background to what we can still see – once we’ve been told where to look!
…Not only is this an excellent and robust little guide for the visitor to Haworth today, but it also reminds us of the Haworth that has passed, the Haworth the Brontёs knew, from Brandy Row and the horse fairs on Penistone Slack, to the then-busier moors and the treacherous bogs, the Isolation Hospital at Upper Heights Farm, and the packhorse trails.
This is an excellent little gem for the visitor.
Bronte Society Transactions


Coleridge Street (pamphlet)
Aussteiger Publications
I.S.B.N. 978 1 872764 26 9
Summer 2012
A short sequence of poems set on and around a street that bears the poet’s name; it’s a candid and affectionate portrayal of the people and changing environment of the author’s hometown.
‘It is a high achievement that, though his work is not radically different in means from that of many contemporary poets, he has succeeded in finding a territory, which though not extensive is recognisably his own.’ Alan Dent Smokestack Reviews Mistress Quickly’s Bed

Aussteiger Publications
21 Lowergate

Hendon Publishing
Hendon Mill

Mark Ward

Website designed, developed and hosted by Michael Webster

'My BackYard'

Official website of Blackburn born poet Mark Ward.
Welcome to my site, which features books, poems and links, along with a short animated film
'Time Flies'.
I was born in Blackburn: have travelled extensively, and had a varied career which has included presenting poetry on Alaskan radio;
tuna fishing in the South Atlantic; building film sets in Africa and working for a New Zealand production company.
I currently work at The Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, which houses one of the finest collections of books, paintings and manuscripts relating to the Romantics.
I’ve published several books and pamphlets and have been the recipient of a number of writers’ awards.
I’m available for readings and commissions.
I am not on Facebook and I do not publish poems on Poetry Soup.
Books may be purchased by clicking book titles.

Thunder Alley

Thunder Alley

To hear Mark Ward read some of his poetry from Thunder Alley please click any of the links below; to read a selection of the poems from any of the books, click on their cover.

Michael Dixon (audio)

Time zones (movie)

Oh, by the way (audio)

Specimens (movie)

Time Flies (animation)

Killers (movie)

Mark Ward Poet
Mark Ward

Used Rhymes
Used Rhymes
Haworth and the Brontes
Coleridge Street