Sad news - one of Eyewear BSPG's first, and finest, poets, the brilliant, epigrammatic and eccentric poet of Blitz memories and the sorrows and dreams of ageing, Elspeth Smith, has died, her family has asked us to announce as her final publisher - we loved her, and were proud to help her reach a wider audience, though an even wider one is deserved... what a genuinely inspiring and delightful person she is and was! Please read her work, it is truly unique, uncanny, and unforgettable, so apparently minimalist, so complex and rich many cake layers down. Empty champagne flutes have never seemed so sinister.

Elspeth Smith was born in Ceylon in 1928 to British parents and spent her childhood on a tea plantation. During the Second World War she was sent to school in Edinburgh and then to St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex. She has lived and worked in Huddersfield for over forty years. She died in Scotland in 2021, with her family by her side.

Her pamphlet Wishbone was published by Smith/Doorstop (The Poetry Business). Her debut collection, Dangerous Cakes, came out from Eyewear in 2012, to critical acclaim.

Smith's poems are tiny parcels of benign delightfulness with danger at their centres. A patch of grass, a fresh covering of snow, an old shoe box take a sinister turn if you dare to join the party. – Lorraine Mariner

Spare, mysterious, unforgettable poems.  Alison Brackenbury, Poetry London

Elspeth Smith asks questions, indeed 'raises' them, and answers with spare, clean diction and sharp, clear wit. The result is unforgettable. – Don Share

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1 comment

I love Elspeth’s subtle and surprising poems and was grateful for her helpful comments on my own.

Jane Lamb

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