The Land Before Yoghurt: Sunderland lecturer launches poetry collection

Alistair Robinson
Alistair Robinson
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A SUNDERLAND writer is about to release his second collection of poetry.

Lecturer Alistair Robinson, the degree programme leader for Journalism and News Journalism at the University of Sunderland, is launching The Land Before Yoghurt next week.

The book will be published by Northumberland-based Red Squirrel Press and will be unveiled on Wednesday, to coincide with World Book Day.

Alistair says the title of the work comes from a brief poem in which he looks back to his childhood.

He added: “It doesn’t have great significance for the collection as a whole – I just liked the daft sound of it.

“The poem refers to the 1960s when many of the things we take for granted today were simply not available.

“For instance, I remember being puzzled by yoghurt when it first turned up in supermarkets.

“There are a few poems in the book which look at the past – but not in any rose-tinted way.

“It’s kind of anti-nostalgic in parts.”

Alistair, former entertainments editor at the Sunderland Echo, will be reading from the book at its launch on Wednesday, at 6pm, in South Shields Central Library, as will fellow Sunderland poet Sylvia Forrest, who will launch her Red Squirrel Press pamphlet, Velvet Beds.

His first full-length collection, Stereograms of the Dead, came out in 2009. In 2004 he won a Northern Promise Award for his poetry from New Writing North.

He has also written two books on theatre history and one on the history of Sunderland.

The book is available at