Published widely in the UK and America, Gareth Writer-Davies was commended in the Prole Laureate Competition, the Welsh Poetry Competition and the Sherborne Open Poetry Competition 2015.


He has also been shortlisted for the 2017 Bridport Prize, the second time that Gareth has been shortlisted.


His pamphlet, Bodies, was published in 2015 by Indigo Dreams.


Gareth is the 2017 Prole Laureate.


Born in London, he now lives in Brecon, Wales.












138 x 216mm


36 pages


£6.00 + P&P UK


ISBN 978-1-910834-51-0


PUB: 20/11/2017










The poems in Cry Baby are stark, bruised admissions of an unspoken hurt. The reader is carried on the shoulders of a child who watches his mother disintegrate.

With no structure beneath the family they are all left falling through their life, along with their broken toys, into a burning summer sun. There is movement, a rush to travel away to better times, and inevitably the pain of looking inwards, which is always harder than observing from the outside.

These are moving, concise poems that strip away emotion and leave the bare bones of painful experience.

Wendy Pratt


Gareth Writer-Davies tells it like is, his poems display perfect control. Not a word is wasted, yet he manages to capture a whole world.

In the small details a boy learns his lessons about life, family, and where he fits in.

It is the small details that matter.

Angela Readman



Cry Baby


Gareth Writer-Davies



The Childish Bed



on long sunburn holidays


we would be put to bed


smothered in Savlon


and tell knuckle rude stories

barely laughing


in the morning

cuddled up and snoring


our parents

woke us shouting


when we

are within the touch tender shape


is love

anything more than bare sentiment



that stirs us into action


back to the time when tired but true

our hot flesh was all innocence



The Train to Devil's Bridge


though my mother swore

every day it rained


forward we went

on a wet day and the steam railway


toward clouds

the black eyed driver fed the red-hot stove


the old quarry train climbing

through forests and o'er rivers


the fork in the track

behind us


the train chugged into the station

my mother waving


at flies

her hair ruined


we spent the day

watching smoke rise and hiding from the devil



Lilac Ladies


mother was a virgin

when on Boxing Day she married


this came out, when my sister was thrown out

for having sex with her boyfriend



by the violation of her hearth and home


she slammed, the door so hard

that the fanlight buckled


the drowsy wallpaper

woke up

and the lovely lilac ladies


agreed that it was all for the best



Cry Baby


I was made

in a black iron bed


swaddled in a feather quilt

nylon slick

and fuchsia pink


that had I focus

would have foretold


hunter of foxes

cornet in a military band

designer of frocks


I was not the imagined girl

ready for gingham ribbons and ankle socks


I was something else


with a purple scream

a fist of a child

who bit my mother's breast

and kicked out at rainbows





I was a platinum blonde


with curls

and a firm grip on my fortitude


I went to school

wearing my sister's dress


I liked being a girl

never doubted, I would be a star of stage and screen


but when my roots

began to show through


I was put in shorts

and elasticated socks



is how I have remained



Swimming At Aberdovey


my mother, had never forgiven my father

for being attractive to other women


so she made up her mind

to swim across the estuary to Ynyslas


midstream, between one shore and the other

she was picked up


by a rowdy boat of fishermen

who joked

that they had caught a mermaid


and brought her back to the beach

to the family she had not thought to see again

Author photo by Jade Findlater

061 edit 2 AMEND 9781910834510

There are many 'misery memoirs' and confessional tales of horror and conflict within the family home. But here is a collection of a childhood like many others; memories of a wonky upbringing where the comedic and the pathetic  mix to produce an eccentric and subtle medley of poems, to which you will return.