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Book of the Week: The Tattooist's Chair

Posted on August 07, 2017 by Rebecca Robinson

"Karl Riordan’s debut is a marvellous book, honest and authentic, rooted in experience. Carefully crafted and skilfully developed, these vivid, vibrant and textured poems narrate autobiographical vignettes, family memories and aspects of life in the Northern working class communities in which the poet was raised. Reminiscent of the early work of Harrison and Heaney, these deeply felt, compassionate and committed poems compel and reward re-reading." Steve Ely

Karl Riordan spent much of his late teens in a tattooist’s studio, fascinated by the declarations of love, badges of pride and intricate designs that reminded him of the Stilton legs of his grandfather, a miner tattooed by a working life spent underground. In his powerful debut collection, Riordan recalls and celebrates growing up in the South Yorkshire coalfield – holidays and haircuts, football pools and pool halls, Mackeson and Temazepam, Saturday night and Monday morning.

Karl Riordan is a Disability Support Worker. His writing has been published in many magazines and in How Do You Sleep? New Stories by Sheffield Writers. He lives in Sheffield. The Tattooist’s Chair is his first full-length book. You can buy it here

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