Tony Frisby

Van Gogh and the Colours of Love (2022)


Art historian, poet. Born in Waterford, 1940, Tony Frisby’s enjoyed a run of fine volumes since 2000. A notable performer as well as an intellectual (he’d hate the term!) of breadth and weight, Frisby’s grounded too. Everything rises from his voice. Each line’s notable for its powerful tread, a singing quality lowered to gravelly humour and on occasion despair. Frisby’s climactic lines can notably repeat a single word in rhetorical triplicate. Hearing him deliver that is darkly thrilling.

Frisby is our finest ekphrastic poet, and far more than that as other volumes show. There’s not been time to traverse his other poems here, which as hinted at show the dizzying breath of subject matter, range and human agency worked on and worked by these paintings and photographs as subjects.

A day book for art in a closed climate.

Simon Jenner – Waterloo Press.


Born in Waterford, Ireland Tony Frisby moved to England at 19. Thirty years later he returned to education, receiving his BA in Art History and MA in Renaissance and Modern Literature, embarking on a PhD, to then abandon academia to focus on writing poetry himself.


Frisby’s five collections on south coastal themes were each chosen as the ‘Book of the Week’ by Brighton’s The Argus newspaper. Frisby’s epic poem, Me Me and Not Me (2014), and published by Waterloo Press received critical acclaim. In 2016 he edited a poetry collection written for Black History Month, followed by That Blue Pause (2017).


Frisby reads in venues across the South East including Turner Contemporary Gallery  and has facilitated poetry workshops in public libraries and an open prison.




ISBN: 978-1-915241-00-9 Category: Tag:

Praise and Poems

Mondrian’s Ghost

Tulip days, warm nights,
floating streets,
flying bridges,

and the land stretching
flat and safe
as we stretch
catty cornered

a shipwrecked
in Amersfoort.


I wagged
a Protestant finger
at Mondrian’s
ghostly apparition
for smoking
a fag
in the family home.



‘… Frisby’s ability to draw on visual arts and forge redolent poetry that speaks to the realities of the human condition, personal relationships, the harmony or breach of the natural order, is sublime.’

Theophilus Ejorh – The News Guru


On Tony Frisby’s Me, Me and Not Me (2014):

‘A biography in poetry, Me, Me and Not Me, is a fascinating experimentation with the contemporary self, Frisby interrogates his past with an inquisitorial intensity that leads the reader in an affectionate attempt to understand and re-evaluate the place of the solitary poet in the contemporary social age.’

Phil Clement – niagraphils/Modern Romanticism in Review

‘This poem serves as a reminder that everything contributes to our growth and development, that we can improve ourselves and find contentment in at least one of those selves. Me, Me and Not Me takes us on a light-hearted journey into Frisby’s, and also our own, psyche.’

Dervla McCormick – DURA: Dundee University Review of the Arts

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