Winner of the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry 2016
There were many things that Hollie McNish didn't know before she was pregnant. How her family and friends would react; that Mr Whippy would be off the menu; how quickly ice can melt on a stomach. These were on top of the many other things she didn't know about babies: how to stand while holding one; how to do a poetry gig with your baby as a member of the audience; how drum'n'bass can make a great lullaby. And that's before you even start on toddlers: how to answer a question like 'is the world a jigsaw?'; dealing with a ten-hour train ride together; and how children can be caregivers too.
But Hollie learned.
And she's still learning, slowly. Nobody Told Me is a collection of poems and stories taken from Hollie's diaries; one person's thoughts on raising a child in modern Britain, of trying to become a parent in modern Britain, of sex, commercialism, feeding, gender and of finding secret places to scream once in a while.
The world needs these poems - and so does every parent . . . Interspersed with passages of spiky, penetrating prose, they offer a series of vivid snapshots of the highly emotional, frequently paranoid and always sleep-deprived experience of the first-time parent . . . The world needs this book. It should be required reading for anyone thinking of having a baby, or even anyone who knows someone who is thinking of having a baby. And I can't help wondering if these islands would be a happier and more pleasant place to live if Nobody Told Me was made a compulsory sex-ed set text in our schools . Politicians, please take note Scotland on Sunday
Hollie McNish is a published UK poet based between London, Cambridge and Glasgow. She has two poetry collections - Cherry Pie and Papers and an album Versus, which made her the first poet to record at Abbey Road Studios, London.