Anthony Owen (British Working Class Poets)

Anthony Owen

Antony Owen is a writer from Coventry and the son of working-class parents which partly inspires his work. He is the author of 9 poetry collections and was a recipient of the UK working class poetry award by Bread & Roses. His next collection is 





In wartime 

my nan stewed chicken-bones in water 

sieving them for ribbons then smashing them for marrow. 


In peacetime 

my nan stewed chicken bones in water 

sieving them for ribbons then giving them to twelve Hollis Road. 


In Tory-time 

my nan hurled chicken bones at Thatcher 

stewing over snatched milk and the unformed bones of eighties kids. 


At her funeral 

my Mum scolded me for wasting my food 

she made me eat that drumstick to the bone and all I tasted was death. 


In twenty-twenty-two 

millionaire Tories advise the poor how to eat 

a mother stretches her bones and lentils to breaking point. 



My father was made in the lathes

his swarf scaled arms levered us to sky

he was born from stars of anvils.


My fathers shed was a second home

where trees became tables or gliders

blossom would envy chisel and plane.


In factory fortnight all the kids became giants

upon our father’s shoulders dethroning sky

watching men go mad and pink in the sun.


Each Christmas day my dad slept all afternoon

my mum said it was the factory killing him

my dad said it was the turkey

I think it was the life

becoming his death.



Working class manifesto


Whatever will be, will be

you will be you and I me.

The homeless shapes too,

flesh cold and frost blue

they’ll ask for change from me and you

and we’ll choose to leave or to stay

they elected to live and die this way

who gives an emoji anyway?


Whatever will be, will be.

You will be you and I, me,

and the invisible poor too

chatter in the Tories Zoo.

They all ended up in the foodbank queue -

the zero hours worker

a pair of eyes in a woman and burqa

a self-hating chav Boris called a shirker.


Whatever will be, will be

England will be red or blue

but I’ll be me and you, you.

A homeless soldier will die a civilian

one in every twelve and one in a million.

A nurse with honours will lose her pride

queuing for vouchers at the rush hour roadside.

A Grenfell human will check into their home

burning in nightmares on Travelodge Styrofoam.

Jacob Rhys Mogg will fall asleep on a chaise

as Palestinian homes crumble to the clays.

Who gives a shared xxxx anyways?

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