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Faber to publish Wendy Cope’s The Orange and Other Poems to reach a new generation

By Faber Editor, 31 October 2023

Poet Wendy Cope, photographed by Lydia Evans

Faber has announced the publication of a new selection of poems by prize-winning poet Wendy Cope, The Orange and Other Poems.

‘The Orange’ has found a new generation of fans on social media, with users pairing the poem’s audio with clips of their everyday lives – lighting a candle, going for a walk, getting a coffee with friends. The poem resonates with readers everywhere who value its call to pay attention to and appreciate the little things in life.

My heart has made its mind up
And I’m afraid it’s you. From ‘Valentine’

The Orange provides the perfect introduction to Wendy Cope, one of Britain’s wittiest, bestselling and best-loved poets.

In poems that can turn from laugh-out-loud funny to deeply moving, Wendy Cope offers reflections on love and life. From the joy of falling – and being – in love to ways to help you deal with a painful break-up or the memories of people loved and lost, this is a book you will want to savour and share with all your friends.

Editor-at-large, Jane Feaver said:

‘Wendy Cope’s poems combine clarity, poignancy and wit to skewer those emotions that animate our ordinary lives. The surprise of recognition is both a comfort and a spur. It is a joy to see them taken up so enthusiastically by a whole new generation of readers.’

Wendy has written a short piece for her readers on the genesis of the famous poem:

‘In the early 1980s I was a seconded teacher working in County Hall on a newspaper published by the Inner London Education authority. After I left that job, I regularly met my ex-colleagues Robert and Dave for lunch, often on the South Bank. On the day of ‘The Orange’, which would have been around 1989, I think we were in the café of the National Film Theatre. I saw the outsize orange and put it on my tray, although I hardly ever eat oranges. The rest of the story is in the poem, which I probably wrote that evening.

It is addressed to the man I was in a fairly new relationship with at the time. His name is not
mentioned. We lasted about a year.

Robert died in 2014. I’m still friends with Dave.’

About the Author

Wendy Cope was born in Erith, Kent. After university she worked for fifteen years as a primary school teacher in London. Her first collection of poems, Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis, was published in 1986 and her most recent, Anecdotal Evidence, in 2018. In 1987 she received a Cholmondeley Award for poetry and in 1995 the American Academy of Arts and Letters Michael Braude Award. Two Cures for Love: Selected Poems 1979-2006 was published in 2008. Her Collected Poems will be published in 2024.

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About the Author
Poet Wendy Cope, photographed by Lydia Evans