Ruth Irwin is a writer, teacher and poet from the south-east of England. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Goldsmith’s, University of London. Following a diagnosis of ADHD, much of Ruth’s poetry explores and foregrounds the condition and aims to raise awareness. Ruth grew up in Hertfordshire, where she has recently returned after a decade living in London. People: Unfinished Poems is her first collection. Read on →



People: Unfinished Poems

Renard Press, 28 June 2023

The debut poetry collection from a talented, fresh-voiced poet, People: Unfinished Poems is a lyrical, thought-provoking and moving selection that observes and enjoys the beauty and strangeness of people, exploring their connections to themselves, each other and the places in which they live. With particular attention paid to family, friendship, love, belonging and acceptance, the collection is a real celebration of human individuality and connection.

Following a late diagnosis of ADHD, much of Ruth’s poetry explores and foregrounds the condition; the reader is invited into the mind of a person beginning to understand herself properly for the first time. Having ADHD can cause thinking to be fundamentally non-linear – like ‘a radio constantly flicking between stations: an unceasing lifetime of noise’ – and the collection aims to give the reader a peek into such a mind: endlessly thinking and never truly at rest.

For Ruth, one result of this is intricate patterns and fragments of poetry sprawled across endless notebooks. This collection is beautifully presented in the poet’s own handwriting, and is decorated in much the same way as her notebooks, giving the reader an intimate insight into some of the artistic and creative aspects of neurodiversity, and the practical and emotional difficulties it can cause.

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