The Two Way Poetry Podcast: Lydia Allison

Posted on 2nd March 2024 in News

In this episode, Lydia Allison reflects on Tom Phillips’ ‘treated’ book A Humument and how it influenced her own Metro erasure poems.

In the interview, Lydia talks about going to an event where Tom Phillips talked about his practice as an artist – and about A Humument in particular. She relates how the book came about and describes its various iterations – the different ‘river’ poems that Phillips came to write using the original text – an obscure Victorian novel entitled A Human Document by W.H. Mallock. Lydia discusses the overall ‘narrative’ of the book, and then focuses on two pages in particular: page 40 and page 305 (which you find and can click on below). 

Lydia then goes on to explain where, why and how she developed her own Metro Horoscope-page found poems.  She talks about the rules that she follows in the making of these works, how she distributes them on social media, and what sort of reactions she has got from printing these versions. We then go on to explore a series of poems, looking in particular at how she uses punctuation and word choices to create her original pieces. 

Lydia Allison is a poet, writing facilitator, creative mentor, and tutor. She has been involved in a number of projects and collaborations, including Stevie Ronnie’s ‘A Diary of Windows and Small Things’, Doncaster Arts’ activity books for lockdown, and ‘Dancing with Words’, a project that paired poets and dancers. Her writing is often inspired by her working life, which spans from bridal consultancy to teaching overseas. 

She is interested in approaching writing in an experimental and playful way. This largely takes the form of blackout poems where she tries to unearth poems hidden in other interesting texts.

She has appeared a number of times in print and online, including The Result Is What You See Today, Introduction X, Surfing the Twilight, Poetry Salzburg Review, PN Review, Feral, and Ink, Sweat & Tears. You can read more at, or follow her on twitter/X @lydiarallison 

The Tom Phillips poems that we focus on can be found here:

Page 40 (slideshow):
A Humument Page 40 (slideshow)

Page 305 (Slideshow)
A Humument Page 305 (slideshow)

You can the book in its entirety here (Tom Phillips also reads one version of the book on the website):

I also mention Nicole Sealey in the podcast. You can find her poem “‘Pages 1-4,’ An Excerpt from The Ferguson Report: An Erasure'” here.

Lydia Allison’s Metro Erasure Poems

start a
begin now


It’s time to
and when

The Sun
to mingle
with your
life and soul


come in
for now,
your thoughts

logical but
very illogical
. Be
physical and
, Gemini


Are other people
the Moon
could be
time spent