Photograph of Yrsa Daley-Ward by Nicole Nodland for the BBC, 7 January 2018
Photograph of Yrsa Daley-Ward by Nicole Nodland for the BBC, 7 January 2018

The Guardian writes about poet and model Yrsa Daley-Ward as follows:

“If you’re afraid to write it, that’s a good sign. I suppose you know you’re writing the truth when you’re terrified.” These words in black type on a white background make up one of poet Yrsa Daley-Ward’s Instagram posts. This monochrome snapshot of her innermost thoughts has more than 5,200 “likes”. That’s more than double the number she gets for any pictures. Daley-Ward spent her late teens and early 20s as a model struggling to pay her rent in London, working for brands such as Apple, Topshop, Estée Lauder and Nike. She still models today. Ironically, however, it was the image-obsessed medium of Instagram that enabled her to pursue the written word.

“I always was a writer,” she explains today in a thick Lancashire accent, sitting in a downtown Los Angeles restaurant close to where she lives. “But I was depressed [in London] and that made me choke. Modelling is an interesting profession because it teaches you so much about here…” She points a finger at her face. “But not here…” she sighs and points at her heart. “You become introverted, you disappear into yourself.”

Daley-Ward’s debut collection of poetry, Bone, is anything but introverted. Aptly titled, it’s a visceral read candidly documenting her religious upbringing, sexuality and mental-health battles. It flew out of her in three months, as she chronicled her bad love affairs, sense of isolation and feelings of inadequacy – an uncomfortable, uninhibited read. Daley-Ward is a self-confessed firestarter and has a colourful past. She doesn’t watch TV and prefers to go to the pub to drink Guinness and “chat to old men about their lives”. When asked to give her age, she refuses. “Men don’t get asked,” she barks……

The links below provide a comprehensive overview.


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