ice cream ‘n’ tar

A winner of the James Tate International Poetry Prize 2022, this collection explores an increasingly volatile world by offering a surrealist take on climate change because sometimes, the easiest way to deal with the madness is through metaphor.


Venus cover

These poems chart a breast cancer journey – from diagnosis through chemotherapy, mastectomy, radiation and hormone treatment to being clear – and everything else in between.

One Poem Review in The Lake (UK) August 2022

more than here

“Charged with vivid imagery and distilled emotion, J V Birch’s poems carry us across the globe, swerving between touching intimacies and crackling insight as she skilfully unfolds the emotional complexities of beauty and loss. Venturing into memories of childhood and family, these poems brim with the bittersweet tensions of relationships stretched across distance and time. This collection casts a wide net, yet never loses its acute sensitivity to the wondrous and terrible details of the world.”

Rachael Mead, author of The Sixth Creek, The Quiet Blue World and The Flaw in the Pattern

“J V Birch’s poetry can be read anywhere and in any mood. Her focus shifts between the intimacy of familial and romantic relationships, and a journaling of global travel.  Her poems are short and modular, full of potency, and with a lively curiosity for extracting the essence from each of her experiences.”

Jules Leigh Koch, author of Each Goldfish Is Hand Painted and Stripping Wallpaper from the Sky

“In this collection, J V Birch focuses on the meaning of “place”. But there are layers to these poems, so that the idea of place is explored alongside the meaning of loss, of human behaviour, of distance from loved ones, of reminiscence, of being an outsider, of nature in the wild and in the city, of catastrophic events and mortality, of relationships and love.”

Mike Hopkins, author of Selfish Bastards

A bellyful of roses

“A bellyful of roses is a courageous book. In it, Julie shares intimate aspects of the disease that afflicts her and so many women – an inordinately difficult and painful subject. Poetry presents a mechanism for us to discuss these medical issues and traumas, a sort of a way in to understanding the impact at a deeper level than the body – and it also gives us a way out of the trauma as a healing of sorts, a healing of the psyche, to give us some kind of relief. Reading a book such as this – small as it may be – helps to make us aware, brings us closer to understanding. “

Dr Jennifer Liston, author of three poetry collections with a PhD in Creative Writing from University of Adelaide

“This is an invaluable collection and I am sure many women – too many women – will relate to these poems. Thanks to Julie for having the courage and skill to share this.”

Brenda Matthews, Ginninderra Press

“These poems moved me incredibly with their honesty, power and clever metaphors – they are beautifully crafted. I learnt a lot about endometriosis, and I’m sure anybody who has the condition and anybody who doesn’t will benefit from this excellent collection.”

Joan Fenney, East Avenue Books

“Reading this chapbook, I was enthralled and touched. I admire how Julie has tackled such a painful and personal subject so honestly and passionately. Finely crafted, it packs a punch.”

Jan Owen, award-winning poet

Smashed glass at midnight

“This collection is the work of a confident and skilled poet with a clear vision of what she wants to convey. These poems are an exploration of the emotional expression of loss; loss of self, loss of another and loss of connection. For unlike much confessional poetry, these poems don’t lay anything bare. In fact, reading these poems provokes more questions than answers. Julie pulls us in with the imagery, her intimate tone – we feel as those we are being spoken to as a confidante – and yet we are deflected the moment curiosity gets the better of us. Julie’s poetry cuts away at the perfect moment with imagery so devastating that we are viscerally aware this experience is the important element, regardless of the backstory. Broken glass, knives, scissors, distant moons, scars, eggshells, broken bones and the clipped shapes of paper dolls – the truth is protected behind these images while we are asked to share the consequences, the raw experience of loss.”

Rachael Mead, author of The Sixth Creek, The Quiet Blue World and The Flaw in the Pattern

“The poems are about loss in a number of contexts, including failing relationships, childlessness, hospital admissions and dementia. Each poem brings a distilled image with an intense focus where the abstract and the unseen often become embodied things. Emotions also become living entities through the use of visual metaphor, that communicate with, possess and control the speaker. These poems have the feel of a dreamlike distance as if the speaker is looking back on the past, detached from an earlier self where there was a sense of loss of control; where her body, hands and mouth had their own minds.”

Karen Dennison, author of Counting Rain

“Her poems are sharp and unusual using imagery that is bold and personal, and leaves its scent.”

Catherine Smith, award-winning poet, fiction writer and author of The Butcher’s Hands, a Poetry Book Society recommendation

What the water & moon gave me

A collection of poems influenced by the the moon and different bodies of water – from the river and sea to boiling an egg.