Proof of Life on Earth

Proof of Life on Earth 

Degna Stone

ISBN: 9781913437589

eISBN: 9781913437596

Price: £10.99

Publication date: 3rd November 2022

Format: Paperback

Extent: 72pp

DCF: Poetry Collections

Cover artwork by Ebony G. Patterson

You live and then you die. That’s the only certainty there is, right? Using love as its guide, Proof of Life on Earth, the debut poetry collection by Degna Stone, looks at all the stops between our arrival and our departure. These poems examine matters of the heart (both the metaphorical and medical kind), of race and discrimination, of the body, mind and self – each in forensic detail, attentive and curious of what moves, shapes, and makes us alive.


In between are the landmarks which populate the rich terrain of this collection; not only of our lives through youth to adulthood, but of history, of the long shadows of empire, and of landscapes themselves - especially those of the northeast of England, evocative, rugged and monumental. Stone’s deft and scalpel-sharp poetry explores human existence shaped by mortality and experience, and asks what it means to do more than survive – to live in defiance, openness and awareness.


Praise for Proof of Life on Earth


“What a joy, at last, to hold Degna Stone’s debut. They are a spellbinding poet: passionate, political and precise. Their poems lay bare the human heart and what it means to love and be loved in a world full of trouble. Unafraid of the ragged seams of life, they hold us, all our sorrows and failings, with the deepest compassion, urging us to be bold, take the risk and make the world better.” - Liz Berry

"Degna Stone’s measured words, structure and style offers their first full collection as a philosophy on life. It evokes fear as they grapple with the near death of their husband, although simultaneously provides a meditative spirit as they root themselves in wild, beautiful English landscapes as a coping mechanism. Yet there are poems which surprise us, too, knee-jerking us into sharing their harsh realities of life. With Proof of Life on Earth, Degna Stone slides smoothly into a deserved position as one of the polished poetic voices to emerge this year." - Dr. Kadija Sesay


"Proof of Life on Earth takes the weight of a woman’s heart and balances on the scales of life and death." - Nick Makoha



Originally from the Midlands, Degna Stone is a poet and poetry editor based in north east England. They are co-founder and former Managing Editor of  Butcher’s Dog poetry magazine, and a Contributing Editor at The Rialto. They received a major Northern Writers Award for poetry in 2015. Proof of Life on Earth (Nine Arches Press, 2022) is their debut poetry collection.


You may also like...

Katie Griffiths’ debut poetry collection, The Attitudes, is a search for trust and faith – in the body, in the mind, in all those things we seek to hold on to but cannot. Here, we intimately encounter mortality and tread the balance between visceral wisdom and the intellect, between fragile, fallible bodies, and the mind’s hold over them, between the bright spaces and the haunted ones.


In poems that are bold, effervescent, frequently playful, Griffiths approaches serious subjects - eating disorders, ageing, grieving - with a precise and inventive lyricism. 


Find out more about The Attitudes

The Nine Arches Press blog features poems from many of our poets, as well as interviews and articles.

Join us here.