Martin Zarrop and ‘No Theory of Everything’

We met Martin at our Open Mic Evening during the first Altrincham Word Fest in May 2018. He read several poems and we were really impressed with his work. Martin is a retired university lecturer and describes himself as ‘a mathematician who wanted certainty but found life more interesting and fulfilling by not getting it.’!

Martin does remember writing a couple of poems whilst at school but his literary life really started after he retired and started to attend creative writing courses, ultimately completing an MA in Creative Writing at MMU. Since then Martin has published two pamphlets of poems and his first full collection ‘Moving Pictures’ (2016).

Martin’s pamphlet of poems, ‘No Theory of Everything’, was published in 2015 by Cinammon Press. The poems in the collection cover a rich diversity of themes. Some reflect his interests in mathematics, science, artificial intelligence and his observations upon twentieth century events and their effect upon his own life. Others tap into a much more emotional seam with memories of family and reflections on aging, lost love and grief.
We are not Martin’s only admirers. The poet Kim Moore is a fan. She features his poem ‘Coats’ on her own website, describing it as “a poem whose emotional heart is driven as much by what isn’t said than what is said. There is a whole history and life in these four short stanzas”
We love this poem too so here it is!


Your cardinal’s coat flapped against thin ankles
as our breath frosted Albert Square.I wore the check Oxfam overcoat,
hands driven into torn pockets.

Arm in arm we braved the town drunks,
sat in row F of the Exchange stalls,
coats neatly folded under each seat
to save the cloakroom fee.

In Cross Street, a taxi u-turned,
almost ran you down.
You were angry with me.
It could have ended there.

Later, you walked more slowly
under the weight of purple.
We ate pizza, savoured red wine,
ran out of evenings.


Martin returns Kim’s admiration. He reads voraciously and enjoys the work of many contemporary poets including Sean O’ Brien – one of our favourites too, see our review section – Helen Mort, David Tait, Andrew McMillan and Seamus Heaney. Martin enjoys reading poetry and prose with science themes and highly recommends the short story anthology ‘Litmus’. His own pamphlet ‘Making Waves’, published in January 2019 by V. Press, reflects on the life and science of Albert Einstein.’

We are delighted to announce that Martin will be our special guest at a Poetry Open Mic evening at Coco’s Lounge in Altrincham on Wednesday the 6th March at 7pm. He will be reading from ‘Making Waves’ and his earlier collections. Tickets on sale here.


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