If All the World and Love Were Young

If All the World and Love Were Young


Winner of the Forward Prize for Best First Collection
Winner of the E. M. Forster Award
Winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature
Shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize
Shortlisted for the John Pollard Poetry Prize

A Sunday Times, New Statesman and Telegraph Book of the Year 2019

'Every poem in this book is a marvel. Taken all together they make up a work of almost miraculous depth and beauty' Sally Rooney

'A poetry debut fit to compare with Seamus Heaney. This wonderful long poem is up there with the greats' Sunday Times

When Stephen Sexton was young, video games were a way to slip through the looking glass; to be in two places at once; to be two people at once. In these poems about the death of his mother, this moving, otherworldly narrative takes us through the levels of Super Mario World, whose flowered landscapes bleed into our world, and ours, strange with loss, bleed into it. His remarkable debut is a daring exploration of memory, grief and the necessity of the unreal.


  • The most impressive debut collection of the year so far: beautiful, sincere and unexpectedly heartbreaking
    Tristram Fane Saunders, The Telegraph

About the author

Stephen Sexton

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