Deborah Harvey lives in her home city of Bristol, and Breadcrumbs is her third collection of poetry.


Her previous two collections, Communion and Map Reading for Beginners, were published by Indigo Dreams in 2011 and 2014 respectively, with her historical novel, Dart, appearing under their Tamar Books imprint in 2013.  


Deborah is a trustee of Poetry Can, the poetry development agency for the south-west of England.


She enjoys hill-walking with her dog, Ted, and is interested in psychogeography.



Cover illustration by Dru Marland




138 x 216mm


70 pages


£8.99 + P&P UK


PUB: 22 APRIL 2016










With Breadcrumbs, Deborah Harvey’s poetry shifts from the landscape and stories of her native West Country into a darker, inner terrain of memory, dream and fairy tale. Here, in the words of Alan Garner, ‘we are in mythic time, where everything is simultaneously present’, and each poem is both a waymark through the wildwood and the seed for a forest of truths





“These are important poems.

They carry us through despair and hope, through myths and imaginings, through violence and insight to deliver us to a place where we are not only enriched but wiser.  

Harvey's poems are astute, well-crafted and delivered with a calm certainty that is hard-won by any poet. Witty, surreal and above all redemptive, this book uncovers truth after truth and, like stars, sets them shining.”

Alyson Hallett


“I think very highly of Deborah Harvey’s work.

Her honesty draws you in  because Harvey knows that honesty is itself an art form.  

It needs to be strongly crafted; it is a crafted matter; and she makes a persuasive poetry from the matter of experience.”  

David Morley






Her father’s bow wave fills the room,

swamps skirtings, bookshelves, sweeps her

from her upturned seat


I knew we’d find her in the library,

too immersed to hear the bell, such a reader,

your daughter!


She looks like a girl, she has two legs, she walks,

she skips, twirls and dances

but can’t talk


can’t tell anyone the truth –  

having her head in a book isn’t proof

she is reading


the turning of pages just a sound,

syllables stop making sense

when tension breaks the chain


imagination left to drift

in star-eater darkness

lit by botched and cobbled ghosts


monstrous angels with stalagmite mouths,

who lose their shape and die

if hauled up to the light





Variations on the Theme of Truth



I am fluent

in thirteen languages

each one a lie


You force me to lie

by not making it easy

to tell the truth


My lies

are the questions

you don’t ask


I tell you

what you want to hear

I kill you with kindness


Nobody lies

more than you do

to yourself  


My lies are truth, my truth

the only thing that matters

is that you believe me


Truth is, I never lie

I’d say I’m sorry

but I’m not





DH Amend




IMG_5578  web




She’s finished her chores for the week

five spare hours cupped in her hand

takes her hoard to the bedroom


In the kitchen

he’s checking the state of the floor

runs his finger down the counters

slams each gleaming cupboard door

stamps upstairs to glare at her

from the landing


turns as she puts her pen aside

crumples poems into balls

fills her pockets




Opening the Box



The attic’s cleared. There’s just the drip

of the water tank, a buzzing strip light,

the dog’s bark echoing from the garden

and this cardboard box I hesitate to open


Burning letters is the usual way and it has poetry

but my anger has gone out. They’re only words

I shan’t reread: his wisps of love on a barbed

wire script, mine popped like dreams


If I could fold envelopes into birds

I’d make flocks of paper swifts

to fly their freight of deadly hope

to a far uncharted land


Deborah with Ted

front web