Visiting professor Tim LiardetVisiting professor Tim Liardet

Tim Liardet is a professor of poetry at Bath Spa University, in Bath, England and the writer of ten collections of poetry.

Human Ecology Forum.

Visiting Professor Tim Liardet.

Tuesday, Oct. 13. 4:10 p.m.

McCormick Lecture Hall.

His third collection, “Competing with the Piano Tuner,” was a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation and was long-listed for the Whitbread Poetry Prize, and his fourth, “To the God of Rain,” was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Spring 2003.

The Blood Choir, Liardet’s fifth collection, won an Arts Council England Writer’s Award as a collection-in-progress, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Summer 2006, and was short-listed for the T.S. Eliot Prize.

The Human Ecology Forum is a weekly speaker series based on the work of the academic community, which also draws on artists, poets, political, and religious leaders from around the world. The forum is open to the public and meets Tuesdays at 4:10 during the school term in the McCormick Lecture Hall.


“Ommerike” by Tim Liardet

The snowstorm came down, it blew across Boston,

it said all roads behind you are closed for good;

when mass collides with mass and crawls lower,


when snow falls for forty-eight hours, you have to stop.

It blew. It billowed. Such weight of snow to stop

everything in its tracks. Stop, said the snowstorm,


set out, when I abate, from here. Stop, and watch

the whole of me blow in silence through the glass.

The tumbler knocked from the table by mistake,


it said, is yet to reach the foyer’s marble floor.

The body of whomsoever is dumped headlong

will fall but never reach the bottom of the well…


My plane touched down on time, your train was held up

which meant it got in as my plane touched down.

Some fluke of clockwork meant my chronograph ran


as many seconds fast as yours was running slow.

We were booked into the same room by clerical error

under the same name, which was neither of our names.


“Riding the Ghostly Velocipede,” by Tim Liardet

It’s said that drowning can be beautiful

(…though the ones who said it were not the ones who had to drown).

The surrender, perhaps, to the arms of water


Shelley was gripped by—able to fly, but not to swim.

And this my bid to join the fellowship of the drowned—

more terrible than beautiful—these the fathoms striped


with a route-map of light, this my bicycling down and down

on the pedals of my feet with my arms thrown out wide

as if to steer through imploding water the velocipede


whose handlebars I tried to grip, but could not catch.

I was four, father, and washed too far from your reach

and I somersaulted several times with weed, with weed


around my neck, my feet, until you flashed me back to the light;

until you fished me out like a pup from the drowning bucket.