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ISBN 978-1-909585-27-0
 first published September 2018; 64 pp
paperback with endpapers; 198 x 129 mm

click here to read a pdf excerpt.
Philip Hancock was born in Newchapel, Stoke-on-Trent, in 1966. He left school at sixteen to serve a City & Guilds craft apprenticeship. His debut pamphlet Hearing Ourselves Think (2009) was a Guardian Book of the Year. A second pamphlet, Just Help Yourself, appeared in 2016. Jelly Baby, a film-poem, screened at various film festivals and was published in Areté.
Philip Hancock,  City Works Dept.


Phil Hancock’s insights are precise and authentic – he is part of the great tradition of writers who capture the true spirit of working-class life.’
     – Ken Loach

Barely noticed, as if glimpsed through the window of a high-speed train, a familiar England persists: concrete garages, disused warehouses, pebble-dash, caravans, Ritzy’s on a Friday night, a boy scuffing a stone along a pavement.
       City Works Dept. has work to do: repairs, maintenance, above all the paying of attention to a stratum of British society whose people and occupations have suffered from long neglect. Philip Hancock’s poems do the job with patience, empathy and unshowy skill

‘Philip Hancock’s lyrical ballads have the same invigorating combination of song and drama that give the original Lyrical Ballads their intense liveliness. I’ve always liked his cheeky urban insights and info. They hit the spot others don’t even know exists.’
     – Hugo Williams

‘True originality: he writes with the sparkling eye of one who has discovered a rich and unaccountably neglected subject for poetic investigation.’
     – Christopher Reid

 From reviews of Philip Hancock’s pamphlets:


‘Authentic, trim reports from the world of work – City and Guilds, pilfering, how to carry a ladder, sex in a van (‘From the dust-sheet, wood slivers/ and flecks of paint stick to her arse’). One poem is called ‘Knowing One’s Place’; these poems know the workplace.’
     – Craig Raine, Spectator

 ‘These are poems of concise and knowing humour.’ 
     Alison Brackenbury, PN Review