WILD NATURE POETRY AWARD competition now open.

Sharon Larkin’s poetry has been

widely published in anthologies, magazines and on-line.


She is Chair of Cheltenham’s Arts Council and Poetry Society and jointly runs Poetry Café - Refreshed.


Sharon was founder/editor of the Good Dadhood poetry project and runs Eithon Bridge Publications.






These poems are dedicated to those who would describe their relationship with food as complicated









138 x 216mm


36 pages


£6.00 + P&P UK


ISBN 978-1-912876-03-7


PUB: 07/01/2019










Interned at the Food Factory


Sharon Larkin



Interned at the Food Factory takes eating as its theme, where food is less a source of nourishment and enjoyment, rather a series of individual and social challenges to be confronted and overcome.


We follow studious apprentices and reluctant apostles through a variety of culinary scenarios – domestic kitchens, inhospitable tables, factory farms, food processing plants – experiencing food on the hoof or in the company of characters, both malevolent and benevolent.


Wherever the roots of chaos lie, and however disorder manifests, compassion for those for whom food consumption is problematic is much in evidence.



“By turns vulnerable and sassy, heartbreaking and funny, consistently insightful and readable. The food in these poems is no spread for some twee picnic.  

In an age of increasingly  innocuous poetry, Sharon Larkin is to be applauded for the rawness

included here and for an exceptional instinct for the  emotional weight and balance of her poems”.  

Brett Evans


“In these poems Sharon Larkin weaponises the language  of food; sometimes witty, always moving. Watch out. This is a place where you must check whether ‘the knife drawer’ [is] closed.”                                                              

Kate Noakes


The Intern


The way I learned to read you was to creep downstairs,

slip into the living room and listen.


If you were in the kitchen banging saucepans around,

I'd wait for calm before sidling in to find a cereal bowl.

If no sound was coming from sink or stove, I'd pretend

you were the five year old, I the parent,


peep through the crack in the door, check the oven was shut

and the knife drawer closed, breathe more easily.




Fat Boy



The coins Freddy found in his mother's second best coat  

chink in his pocket. Her favourite jacket went out with her

on Friday night and neither of them has been seen since.

It’s Monday morning. Freddy can’t find his waterproof.


His split trainer leaks and his stomach growls

back at the thunder. He shoots up the alley

and ducks into Pasty Haven to trade pounds

for calories at a safe distance from school.


The bag is warm and leaches grease  

through his thin tracksuit top.

He finds a secluded doorway, pulls out

the Pulled Pork Special, scoffs it in seconds,

belches, wipes lips on sleeves,

knows Jack Hardiman will be waiting  

outside the school gates

with his usual sing-song greeting:


Fred—dy Tu—cker

He’s a Fa—at F*—cker







Looking for Crumbs


Come with me under the table

to look between shoes,  

ankles – covered and naked,  

toes that peep.

Try not to touch.


Hand over mouth

stifle the urge to observe  

that children won't

have sneaked down here

to scoff their allotted cake.  

Try not to giggle or snigger

at what might be found

beneath white linen.  

Just fumble for crusts,  

dropped gobbets

in dust and fluff.


I had no choice

but to slither down here.

Hope compels me to pretend

there is no stink of dog  

dirt on this soul.


There might after all

be a healing.

Vanilla Villanelle



It's January the first and she's at it again –

celery stalks and lettuce, no more cake.

Holiday's in June – she'll be slim by then.


Five days later, resolution’s worn thin.

She scoffs a Big Mac and banana milkshake.

Her will's in fritters; she's troughing again.


Back at the slimming club, her leader, Jen,

shakes her head as the scales all but break,

threatens to bring in the weighbridge men.


On salad for a fortnight and she loses ten,

celebrates with wine and a big juicy steak,

apple pie, ice cream and liqueurs – again.


Too scared to go to slimming club then,

she decides to work late, and that's a mistake –

she gets called ‘chubs’ by the night shift men.


For months she yoyos, then all of a sudden

it's time for her annual mid-summer break.

Strange how whales are invisible to men,

and soon she’s baking for Christmas again.  




Thé avec Imogen et Toi



It's exquisite torture sitting this close

to you in polite company

with the restraint of Earl Grey

and amuse-bouches on a doily

when what I need is you, alone,

a slug of red, our tongues amusing

more than just each other's ears

on some good old-fashioned shag pile  

somewhere other than Imogen’s bungalow.




The Take-away



A pale thin dangling thing is a noodle  

suspended from chopsticks  

above his open lips


and he's gagging for it,

sprawling barefoot on her sofa

where she gives him no respite  


in her spaghetti straps,

feeding his desire

from her delectable bowl




Madame Manet Stumbles upon a Picnic



Édouard, what the enfer?

I'm not fooled by that panier de fruits et du pain.

This is no déjeuner on a pelouse.

This is une orgie dans le Bois de Boulogne.

Don't give me that old excuse.

You're not sketching for some grand oeuvre now.

The Salon wouldn't touch it.

You're staging porn en plein air,

dragging in your frère and his femme

and that harlot-cum-model.

You've really done it this time, Édouard.

Wait till Monsieur Zola hears about this.

Your reputation's going straight down the porcelaine.

Author amend 9781912876037