we saved 400000 ancient manuscripts

Forthcoming: INDEX, Sophie’s collection of 76 collage poems made on index cards, is to be published as a pack of prophetic playing cards by Zimzalla as an object in their long running series of Poetry Objects. Watch this space for details.

Sophie’s latest collection is a sequence of poems and collages in which women create their own lovers from stuff they find lying around at home or at work. Published in glossy paperback at £12.99 by Henningham Family Press.
60 Lovers to Make and Do

from springs issue of MPT
Sophie has two new Inklisch poems in Modern Poetry in Translation

The Practical Visionary
A collaborative book with Chris McCabe, responding to William Blake, was published in September 2018 Hercules Editions

Velkom to Inklandt, a poetry book of the year

Velkom to Inklandt A seekventz of 30 poems transcribed phonetically by Sophie in the borrowed voice of her late Grentmuzzer, out now with Short Books is The Observers Poetry Book of the Month

Your Candle Accompanies the Sun
This is a book of collage poems re Emily Dickinson.
Published and bound by Henningham Family Press

6 collage poems from this project appear in the Winter 2017 Poetry Review

interview with Sophie about teaching for The Poetry School

Sophie’s poem We saved four hundred thousand ancient manuscripts has won the inaugural Poetry Book Fair Competition, judged by WN Herbert

“The sumptuous language and narrative angles make the world of Herxheimer’s poems sparkle.” David Caddy, Tears in the Fence

The Other Room birthday readings reviewed here

full Tears in the Fence review of the magazine here

a review of the Long Poem Magazine launch at the Barbican

P.O.W. series broadside, no.22: london
all of series 4 is reviewed here





Not zo mainy Dais zinz ve arrivink.
Zis grey iss like Bearlin, zis same grey Day
ve hef. Zis norzern Vezzer, oont ze demp Street.
A biet off Rain voant hurt, vill help ze Treez
on zis Hempstet Heese vee see in Fekt.
Vy shootd I mind zat?

I try viz ze Busses, Herr Kondooktor eskink
me… for vot? I don’t eckzectly remempber;
Fess plees? To him, my Penny I hent ofa – He notdz viz a keint Smile- Fanks Luv!
He sez. Oh! I em his Luff – turns Hentell
on Machine, out kurls a Tikett.

Zis is ven I know zat here to settle iss OK. Zis
City vill be Home, verr eefen on ze Buss is Luff.

Disturbing Mother

Disturbing Mother

Disturbing Mother

If you’re a dolt and sing insipid
songs to Nature, She’ll eat you.

Like Ivan, you must demand
a hot bath, a hot dinner

then She’ll wink, and you’ll
get along just fine. She is an old

old hag, dripping with green
jewels, and She doesn’t care

about you. She doesn’t care
about Her gleaming yellow

toadstools, Her adorable fawns,
or Her resilient clumps of insect eggs.

She doesn’t give a fig about this poem
I’m writing. She is writing the actual

poem. Full of scorn, wonder, acres
of scratch-black sky and trees.

Her scroll of references goes back
a hundred thousand years –

Her poem is breathing us alive.
Breathing us our sheepish

hesitations, our tender little egos,
our axe-wielding certainties.

But never thank Her.
She despises manners.

Who has time for those, when locked
in a permanent half-nelson by God?

League of Demons

League of Demons

Shining in its sun-drenched yellow glaze, the butter.
Its glow is mesmerising. I long to slap it through
my fingers on to all the cool clean surfaces, and say so.
Mum laughs, nods: you’ve got sixty seconds; go!

I claw two hands full of it: ooze it into the phone
dials holy recesses, let it drip and melt down all
the bell-shaped slopes of our 70s art nouveau glass
lampshades, massage it into the wide pine slabs
of that huge table, skate its greasy script across
the metal breadbins mirrored belly with my finger.

I am Hurricane Butter. My sister draws in her breath,
makes a few decisions then and there.



Resent the mess? Yes. She left these
severe debts. Enter the den she recently
deserted, see her perky red dresses,
the fern green bevel-edged chest, her very
decent bed. Feel her greed, her tenderness-
queenly jewels, dented gems, blessed shreds.
Let trees shelter her, let her rest.
She spent her relentless temper, she’s
been demented here, then sweet, serene.

See the kettle? Let’s feed these lesser
gentlemen, (egg n cress?) Express regret,
tell them she’ll never ever reply. Her
shredded letters feed ferrets, beget
preeners’ nests, freckle the nettles.
Let the queen, the empress herself,
be free. She’s everywhere, she’s where
beetles creep, where the breeze
swells the weeds, where we sleep

A Question for Every Stop

A Question For Every Stop

If any man or woman knows
just cause why these two
doors should not be
joined in whoosh –

these ordinary doors –
that hiss together always
and seal themselves
with a satisfied rubber kiss –

who would obstruct this?

written during residency
for Transport for London’s
Travel Better London

We saved four hundred thousand ancient manuscripts.

We saved four hundred thousand ancient manuscripts.

We saved four hundred thousand ancient manuscripts.

for the librarian: Abdel Kader Haïdara

We packed them in batches into metal trunks

then hid those in our friends and neighbours houses

worked silently between the hours of two and four

as that’s when the jihadis liked to rest.

On each pinnace two people, fifteen loaded lockers.

Sleek timber prows like moons or melon rinds

sent floating on the Niger in the night.

We tried to be prudent. There is no tarmac road

in or out of Timbuktu. Our city’s built on books.

A wealth to make us scholars of emergency.

The Other Room, Manchester

Hurricane Butter and Ghost Hotel in Bookartbookshop, Hoxton

Travel Better London a video re: poetry residency

A Question for Every Stop photo by Manos Fotiou

long announcements made on the underground, 2013

tube residency poem, whiteboard, Knightsbridge station

london broadside POW poetry/oppose/war, series 4

The Giant and His Mother, prisonnier poem, ink/acrylic on cardboard, 2012

Coffee with Rosemary screen prints, 2013

Lewisham postcards, for London Lines with poem by Alan Brownjohn, 2013