Delays singer Greg Gilbert’s poems about living with cancer to be published as part of ‘Laureate’s Choice’ series

Carol Ann Duffy, aka the current Poet Laureate, is impressed by the singer’s poetry

Delays singer Greg Gilbert’s poetry will be published this year after his work was picked by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy to be included in the ‘Laureate’s Choice’ series.

Gilbert was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in 2016 and his poems follow the struggle to make sense of a life-threatening disease whilst surrounded by the love and support of friends and family.

Love Makes a Mess of Dying by Greg Gilbert features cover illustrations by the author and will be released in February by Smith|Doorstop books and will also be included in The Laureate’s Choice Anthology, which is released in May.


Speaking about his poems, Gilbert said: “A cancer diagnosis is so traumatic and you’re left trying to understand the new thing you’ve become and how it relates to what you were. Everything requires re-framing and poetry has allowed me to do that.”

The singer’s cancer diagnosis came to light in 2017 after his fiancé launched a GoFundMe page that raised hundreds of thousands of pounds in aid of treatment that wasn’t available on the NHS. A campaign was also set up in 2017 to get Delays song ‘Valentine’ to number one in the UK in time for Valentine’s Day.

Gilbert is also a celebrated artist, having previously been included in The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. His latest exhibition will be on display in Southampton City Art Gallery from February 1st, and features the body of work, Convalescence, which was created in a great outpouring both in hospital and at home.

Delays formed in Southampton in 2001 and rose to a strong following with singles such as ‘Nearer Than Heaven’, ‘Long Time Coming’, ‘Lost In A Melody’, ‘Valentine’ and their debut album ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’. The band went on to release four acclaimed albums – including 2010’s ‘Star Tiger Star Ariel’.


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