Caroline Burrows - Verse Cycles

"In her debut poetry collection Verse Cycles, Caroline Burrows tours Great Britain on her trusty bike, sharing considerable insights along the way. This is a wide-ranging work. Musings on nature stretch from encounters with insects and bats to the life-cycles of stars; literary giants of the recent and distant past are evoked and illuminated; an impressive assortment of both familiar and more esoteric poetic forms are re-activated and executed to perfection. Underlying everything is an unflinching rootedness in the realities of 21st century lived experience; an enduring sense of the physical, temporal and emotional terrain. To find such presence and so much context within so few pages is a unique and exhilarating experience."

Tim King

Poet, Bard of Exeter 2019-21, Host of Taking The Mic

"Verse Cycles by Caroline Burrows is a deeply engaging collection, revealing the immersive journey of a cycling poet who experiences the world with an open heart. Master of her poetic craft, astute observations of this sweeping journey are delivered in vibrant, thought-provoking scenes. The subject matter is a perfect blend of heart-warming and unsettling, catastrophic and fun, from disconcerting encounters in the underpass reflected in a tarnished spoon, to the whispers of a giggling river oozing with nature. While absorbing the acceptance of beauty and grit side by side, we are taken deeper into the personal, shedding light on mental health and matters of the heart told in verse that is sharp, fragile and perfectly framed. A poignant and inspiring collection, intelligent, challenging, humorous and beautifully crafted."  

Susie Williamson

Author of Blood Gift Chronicles

"It was great featuring Caroline’s fresh approach to poetry on Sketches.

We loved being taken outdoors in all weathers through her poems."

Maggie Ayre

Producer, BBC Radio 4

“Voice,” as William Sieghart* observes, “is the holy grail for emerging poets.” It is an aspect of Caroline Burrows’ poetry that is immediately apparent. Whether read or heard, her voice has a compelling quality that communicates with engaging clarity across time, place and experience. When mixed with detailed research and an assured understanding of poetic form in all its intricacies, it makes for a deliciously intoxicating cocktail. Poetry for Caroline is as much part of what she is as what she does. She writes poetry with elegant assurance but, more than this, she lives by the beliefs she explores in her poems. Her most recent poetry tour involved cycling from Bristol to Berwick-upon-Tweed, through storm and heatwave, with her belongings stashed away in bulging panniers: a clear reflection of her steely resolve.


It is astonishing to realise that this is her first collection, given the grand sweep of her understanding of the poetic genre and her expertise within it. Verse Cycles, as the title suggests, invites us to delight in the journey as well as the destination; there are plenty of side roads to discover as, at Caroline’s subtle prompting, we retrace our steps to admire the view from a different perspective. I am immensely proud to introduce Caroline’s collection. She is a remarkable poet of talent, heart, scholarship and understanding. Enjoy the journey!


Clare Morris (Dr)

Exeter Slam Champion 2022

Author of Devon Maid Walking

February 2024

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