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Released November 30th, 2021 // 42 pages // 978-1-913642-72-3


Dominic Leonard’s Dirt is a dark and windswept collection as mysterious as the mist hovering over a mountain. Leonard’s deep interest in language shows in his fascination with pre-medieval poetry and drama, while his writing bears the fruit of the full bloodline of English literature, from Chaucer to Shakespeare, from Keats to T.S. Eliot. Essentially a romantic figure, Leonard is a young man with an old soul “Carving his mouth open….To get out all the slush, all the necessary dirt.”




Dirt is deliberate about the marrow of us. Performing vivisections of the body, trepanning the soul, Dominic Leonard’s poems are subtle, aching instigators of curious joy. Here, the poet clears a febrile space in the world’s anthropocene, and its antiquity, flooding the basin of regretful human appetite with a hoard of honeyed sound, showing how we inhabit “a bright and alert and ridiculous space between us.” Allow yourself the cadence of these poems’ heartbreak, their incandescing of the everyday, their mining of the spirit to its broken back teeth: they may not comfort, overmuch, but that is their sublime magic.

— Shivanee Ramlochan


Dominic Leonard’s poems and sequences, as delicate-seeming as the breathing mechanism of some rare animal, are moving and courageous: Dirt knows the kinship of hesitancy, doubt and error with passion and truth.

— Vahni Capildeo


Dominic Leonard's poems, reviews and essays can be found in The Poetry Review, Poetry London, TLS, PN Review, Pain and elsewhere, and in 2019 he received an Eric Gregory Award. His pamphlet, Dirt, is available from Broken Sleep Books.

Dominic Leonard - Dirt