Joe Santamaria Poetry Expert

Joe Santamaria

Joe has a degree in English and Related Literature from the University of York and a Masters in Irish Literature from Trinity College Dublin. He is an English tutor and counts W.B Yeats, Emily Brontë and Federico Garcia Lorca among his favourite poets.

In Memory of the Utah Stars

‘In Memory of the Utah Stars’ captures the manner in which memories can provide us with both pleasure and pain.

Love of Country

‘Love of Country’ presents a world in which patriotism is the most important virtue of all and the lack of it is unforgivable.

Gacela of Unforseen Love

‘Gacela of Unforseen Love’ explores the relationship between love and despair through a remembered romance which has run its course.

Yellow Stars and Ice

‘Yellow Stars and Ice’ captures the unattainable nature of memory, even when it feels tantalizingly close at hand.

Indian Weavers

‘Indian Weavers’ explores the inevitability of death while celebrating the cycles of human existence and experience.

The Rose That Grew From Concrete

‘The Rose That Grew From Concrete’ is a moving celebration of personal resolve against the backdrop of oppressive forces.


‘Nightscapes’ beautifully captures the feeling of being isolated from nature that is common in urban environments.

A Watery City

‘A Watery City’ engages with themes of friendship and journeying, significantly how they are affected by the passage of time.

Donegal Sightings

‘Donegal Sightings’ explores how elusive the natural world can feel, even when we are immersed within its beauty.


‘Parrot’ is a moving exploration of imprisonment and suffering set against the backdrop of the modern, urban world.


‘Childhood’ explores the transitory moment when a child becomes aware of the passing of time, and the process of growing old.


‘Winterisation’ subtly weaves the processes of preparing for winter and steeling oneself for news of bereavement.

Carpet-weavers, Morocco

‘Carpet-weavers, Morocco’ is a challenging poem which explores issues such as child labour as well as examining the myriad origins of beauty.

In Railway Halls (XXX)

‘In Railway Halls’ challenges the reader for their complicity in the suffering of the vulnerable in society.


‘Spring’ is an unsettling poem that explores the dangers of devotion and deferring happiness instead of living in the present.

What I Expected (XIII)

‘What I Expected’ is a harrowing account of failed hopes and unrealized dreams, which captures the hopelessness of the 1930s.

The Express

‘The Express’ is an enthralling and uncanny poem which explores the feelings of awe and concern after a new train leaves the station.

Hiram Powers’ Greek Slave

‘Hiram Powers’ Greek Slave’ is a deeply powerful account of seeing a sculpture which evokes feelings of both beauty and suffering.

Out to Tender

‘Out to Tender’ explores the uneasiness felt by many during the 1994 ceasefire in Northern Ireland and expresses their fear and doubt.

The Hour is Come

‘The Hour is Come’ offers a heroic view of womanhood and celebrates those who are willing to fight for their rights and beliefs.

The Pylons

‘The Pylons’ is a foreboding poem that explores the collision between two worlds and the devastating consequences for the innocent.

The Peninsula

‘The Peninsula’ is a beautiful and affirming poem that uses the imagery of the coast to represent the difficulties of artistic creation.

The Annunciation

‘The Annunciation’ is a deeply thoughtful depiction of the moment Mary learned she’d carry the son of God.

How Can You Say That?

‘How Can You Say That?’ is a humorous and thoughtful rebuttal of belittlement which reflects the struggle of women in the twentieth century.


‘February’ depicts a stunning and figurative encounter with Clarke’s familiar Welsh landscape on a snowy February day.


‘Identity’ is a figurative examination of selfhood, and a poetic warning against the dangers of conformity.

The Little Vagabond

‘The Little Vagabond’ is a satirical critique of church services, which humourously compares them to ale-houses.

‘Had I not been awake’

‘Had I not been awake’ is a stunning expression of hope against the backdrop of doubt, which reminds the reader of their capacity to inspire.

This World is not Conclusion

‘This World is not Conclusion’ is a deeply thoughtful exploration of faith and doubt from one of America’s finest poets.

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