Cover artwork by Ben Rothery

Publication date: 7th July 2022 ISBN: 9781913437428. eBook for Kindle available here.

Available from all good bookshops – ask your local bookshop to get a copy! Or online, you can get it direct from Nine Arches Press, or from or Hive, both of whom donate a percentage to local book shops, or the Book Depository (free worldwide shipping).

If you’d like a signed copy, you can get one direct from me – click on the paypal link below,  choose the price for the country you live in – and don’t forget to let me know who to sign it to if not to you. Scroll down to buy book bundles with my other poetry books and my flash fiction collection – while stocks last.

UK/Europe/Rest of World


If you missed Nine Arches Press’ online Triple Launch on August 17th – in which I launched ‘Still Life With Octopus’ alongside Ramona Herdman launching ‘Glut’ and Jessica Mookerjee launching ‘Notes From A Shipwreck’ – here it is on Youtube, it was a lovely evening!


Tania Hershman’s Still Life With Octopus is an exquisitely-attuned second collection, a philosophical and poetic interrogation of the boundaries of animal and human worlds and the intimate nature of time, being and joy. Exploring the slippage between the life of the mind and the life of the body – in particular, those belonging to women – Hershman wonders what might happen if we let go of our preconceptions of both reality and language, taking nothing for granted and starting again from first principles, with fresh eyes.

While trying to fathom our physical and metaphysical existence, Hershman doesn’t ignore the other forms of intelligent life we share our planet with; her octopus is envisioned both as a creature within and alongside us and as a way to consider our place as humans within a greater chain of co-existence. Still Life With Octopus is a precisely observed and open-hearted gift of a book.



Aug 5: The wonderful poet Clare Shaw says of “Still Life With Octopus”: Oh my God, what a collection. She dances all the huge questions and makes it effortless. How can a book ask the big questions and still make you happy?” I can’t imagine a better response!

July 15th: FC Malby says: “Each poem shifts the way an octopus changes its colour, reflecting its mood, yet there is a thread that connects many of the poems – the nature and shape of the heart, all that is hidden, the confines of space and the way that some things need to be released, or remain hidden.” Read the full review here.

Praise for Still Life With Octopus:

“Tania Hershman’s new collection is a fascinating shapeshifter like the octopus herself. Who is human, who is animal, what is heart, arm, brain? Let these wonderful poems take you along on their journey yearning to be free of hard parts and you will be transformed.” – Anja Konig

“What better creature than the Octopus to stand in for what poetry might be? Alien and earthly. Depth dwelling and fluorescent. Legs and organs, at once. This too is Still Life With Octopus, a book of powerful paradox, and a collection as distinct, brilliant and vivid as you will come across this year. Hershman’s poems are wonderfully deceptive, observant, affable, hiding within them hearts of ink, images of the unseen and unknown. Today, these poems are your back pain. Tomorrow, they are the fathomless seas. This is what poetry might be, and this is to be celebrated.” – SJ Fowler

“Wry, witty and sometimes artfully camouflaged, Tania Hershman’s poems in Still Life with Octopus reach out in many directions with an octopoid grace and attention to detail. They quickly escape the inky confines of the page to take up residence in the deeper crevices of the reader’s mind, where they begin the necessary work of unscrewing all kinds of lids.” – Adam Horovitz

Book Bundles – While Stocks Last!

Buy both my Nine Arches Press poetry collections


Buy my new collection and my second poetry pamphlet (Live Canon, 2019) – while stocks last!


Buy Still Life With Octopus + both poetry pamphlets


Buy all four of my poetry books – 2 collections + 2 pamphlets


Buy Still Life With Octopus + my flash fiction collection, My Mother Was An Upright Piano (Tangent Books, 2012)