books and pamphlets

Isn’t Forever

(Bloodaxe, 2018, Selected as a Poetry Book Society Wild Card Choice)


‘Amy Key does for verse what Phoebe Waller-Bridge, writer of Fleabag, is doing for television, wrenching laughter of shock and recognition from line after line.’ SUSANNAH HERBERT, The Observer (Five of the best)

Isn’t Forever, is playful, surreal and enchanting but also rooted in brutal emotional honesty. She is writer of a rare and strange magic.’  SARAH PERRY in The Guardian (Best Summer Books 2018)

‘I’m truly bewitched by Amy Key’s poems. They cut right to the quick of what means to be a modern girl. Honestly, they make me feel dizzy. They’re like beautiful rooms I want to lie down in; they are perpetually surprising, ferocious and unruly. They’re brave and splendid, extravagant and precise. They track difficult emotional states of longing and desire, hatred, fear and self-disgust, and yet they are also witty, playful, luxuriant and intensely concerned with joy. Ugh, just buy them.’ – OLIVIA LAING

‘The work of Amy Key can be described as magical, hallucinatory, erotic, lush with texture and hot with weird emotion. Smart and strange, it attaches to you audaciously and doesn’t let you go. Like a fine poetry wine, I find notes of Matthea Harvey, Emily Dickinson, Mary Szybist. Yet I am always surprised, line by line, at how recognisable her style is, how unlike anything else it is.’ – BRENDA SHAUGHNESSY

‘Amy Key’s Isn’t Forever is a book of love: Love for the reality of cats, cornichons, ring-pulls, the sea, Beethoven’s Fifth, Violet-Among-the-Harpsichord, all the “pure carcass” of experience; and love for the unreality of imagined things, their ghostlet-y lack “in the lake of my thinking”. These poems are both “too much” and “too little”, revealing, with a strange and disorientating exactness, the insufficiency of accuracy and the pleasure of error: “Precision here is superfluous as cut flowers.” They set out from moments of desire – when language is “warmed to a yielding point” – and squander themselves in the act of making something seemingly unusable. This seemingly unusable thing actually proves to be extremely useful by altering, gently but authoritatively, our conception of utility. “If I built aeroplanes,” she tells us, “I would begin by making one that was too beautiful.” – OLI HAZZARD

Buy Isn’t Forever from Bloodaxe.


(Salt Publishing, November 2013)

Available to buy here.

“Layer your pulse onto my pulse she writes in ‘On Being In Bed With Your Brand New Lover’. Dress me. Only the reader knows if this is an order, an instruction or the sweetest sort of invitation. Read a copy of Luxe, keep it next to your fainting couch.” —JULIA BIRD

“This delicious selection is a chocolate-box assortment of the work of one of my favourite poets writing today. Her delicate, dextrous writing belies the raw truths she tells. There are many centres to her confections that only reveal themselves when you take a bite. In her words ‘Poem with peep toes…Poem to conceal some feelings in…Poem to avalanche in your heart’. I love Amy Key.” —LAUREN LAVERNE

“If we are living in the material world, I want Amy Key to be my material girl. She makes her pleats and flounces move; she crowds the surface with color and texture right where it needs to be to draw the reader in like a bee to the velvet bell of the foxglove; or like the silverscreen beauty who eats bonbons from a satin box, she wills our gaze to take it all in and to crave more. These poems are worn on the body, and like all great ensembles, they show just enough; they are hot and memorable.” —D.A. POWELL

“Aside from all their purely poetic elements, what strikes me most about Amy’s poems is the kind of idea of woman-ness which they work with. It feels like what is happening is a kind of valorisation – as oppose to eroticisation – of feminine vulnerability.” —KATE KILALEA


(If a Leaf Falls Press, 2016)


In a limited edition of 30, sold out.

Instead of Stars

(tall-lighthouse, 2009)


Available to buy here.

“Many of Amy Key’s poems have an unusual, brittle beauty – others a hidden strangeness characteristic of the most of-the-moment poetry. She has made an entrance with a flourish.”  JOHN STAMMERS

Best Friends Forever: Poems on Female Friendship (editor)

(The Emma Press, December 2014)


Available to buy here.

Best Friends Forever is a moving, funny, wise and important showcase of intense sisterhood.’ — Emma Jane Unsworth, author of Animals


2 thoughts on “books and pamphlets

  1. I have just started your Arrangements in Blue and find it stunning. Now I would like to read your poetry!
    I used to live in the UK and remember tall lighthouse publishing. I cannot find your Instead of Stars anywhere though. I don’t suppose you have extra copies?

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