David J Costello

Books & Poetry

Human Engineering
Please note this book has now sold out.

No Need For Candles
(2nd Edition)
(£6.00 + £1.50 UK P&P)

(Overseas buyers please e-mail mailfordjc@gmail.com for P&P)

Final Cover NNFC Sold Out.jpg
No Need For Candles
Please note this book has now sold out
(£10.00+UK P&P £1.50)

(Overseas buyers please e-mail mailfordjc@gmail.com for P&P)





David J. Costello lives in Wallasey, England. He has been widely published and anthologised. David has won prizes in a number of competitions including both the Welsh International Poetry Competition and the

Troubadour International Poetry Competition. His latest pamphlet, No Need For Candles, is published by Red Squirrel Press. You can order a signed copy directly from this site using the PayPal button above. David's first full collection is due from Red Squirrel Press in 2020.


What they say!

Horseshoe Bat

‘It must have been a keen blade / That eased you from night’s heart…’

The exquisite precision of these opening lines perfectly conveys an almost surgical procedure, and while the poem’s economy extends into a more mellow, introspective tone, I remained skewered to this small mammal’s journey where there is no excess baggage, no self-indulgent clutter. I hadn’t heard of the Horseshoe bat, so I learnt something too. This is a magical and memorable work. A worthy winner.

Sally Spedding,
Judge: 2011 Welsh International Poetry Competition



"Candlelight" especially is heart-rending and evocative, and resonates long past reading the poem.  It haunts, as a fine piece of literature should. 

The Editors,
Provo Canyon Review

No Need For Candles

The opening poems of illness and loss are stark, plain and moving. A later poem mentions "the flung shape that always returns" - these poems explore their own limits and always return to the human.

Andrew McMillan,
Winner Guardian First Book Award, Somerset Maugham Award and Eric Gregory Award for Physical

No Need For Candles

Costello has a strong feel for the terse emotive phrase: for a dying man he writes, @a nurse arrives to usher in December". Ranging from moths, the moon, Welsh folklore to the recall of departed family members, these poems are tender and precise

Gill McEvoy,
Winner of the 2015 Michael Marks Award for her pamphlet  The Firast Telling



From this beautiful poem’s simple title and the first no-frills first line, I was immediately drawn into the fascinating and probably little-known world where lambs of certain breeds of sheep, despite repeated upheavals and displacement, are tugged back by ‘their internal compass’ into

… their heritage of rock.

the heather’s cackle

and the milky-white cartography of snow.

I learnt something new from each of this poem’s twelve very visual yet deceptively simple lines, empathising with these doomed, young creatures who share with us that universal condition of homesickness. When that perfect last line came, I felt close to tears


This poet clearly does realise that less is often more and significantly, amongst the many entries coming close to the competition’s 50-word limit, has delivered a gem.


A worthy 2nd prize winner!

Sally Spedding,
Judge: 2018 Welsh International Poetry Competition


Events & Readings

5th May 2022
19:00 to 20:30

First Thursday

Lingham's Booksellers

248 Telegraph Rd


Wirral. CH60 7SG

16th June 2022
19:30 to 22:00

Red Squirrel Press Reading

with Kemal Houghton & Maureen Weldon

St Werburgh's Parish Centre

28, Brook Street, Chester. CH1 3DZ

28th June 2022
19:00 to 22:00

Poetry Upstairs

Guest Poet

Melville Centre for the Arts


Abergavenny. NP7 5UD


For any media inquiries, please contact me at:

Tel: +44(0)151 639 1850 | Mob: +44(0)7747 632 922 | EMail: mailfordjc@gmail.com

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