empire of dirt is an unflinching debut interrogating toxic masculinity and the male body. This collection exposes issues of mental health and grief while the darker aspects of nature—the rotting flowers, taunting moths and cracked conkers—are the means of freedom. Within these poems we uncover the violence brought to nature as well as the violence within ourselves.
‘A skilful, strong, and harshly innocent collection by one of our deftest young poets.’ —David Morley, winner of the Ted Hughes Award
‘There is an edge of violence to Thomas Stewart’s poems, but it is not gratuitous. These are the cracks that open in the surface of the world under his concentrated gaze. What they disclose is a deep sadness and a tenderness, alongside the slight scent of blood.’ —Philip Gross, winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize