David J Costello

Books & Poetry

Human Engineering
Please note this book has now sold out.
No Need For Candles
(2nd Edition)
(£6.00 + £1.20 UK P&P)
Final Cover NNFC Sold Out.jpg
No Need For Candles
Please note this book has now sold out


This is a pro-forma place holder and does NOT represent the final cover of the book




Due March 2020

​​​​​Red Squirrel Press

Price, P&P & Ordering TBC.
Available March 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

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



"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



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 2ndprize winner!

Sally Spedding,
Judge: 2018 Welsh International Poetry Competition


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.


Events & Readings

19th March


Launch reading from 'Heft'

Wallasey Central Library

Earlston Road



CH45 5DX (18:00 to 20:00 provisional)

TBC Mar 2020

World Poetry Day Open Mic

Wallasey Central Library

Earlston Road



CH45 5DX (18:00 to 20:00 provisional)

1st April 2020

Poetry & Prose at Petersgate

Petersgate Tap

19, petersgate



(Evening event, times TBC)

2nd April 2020

First Thursday

Linghams Bookshop

11, Croft Drive West


CH48 2JQ

19:00 for 19:30. Finish by 22:00

16th April 2020

Chester Launch of Heft

Corner House Bar

4-8, City Road



19:00 for 19:30. Finish by 20:30

21st April 2020

Poetry Upstairs at The Trading Post

27, Nevill Street




19:00 for 19:15 Start. £5 entry on the door. Guest poet, reading from 'Heft'.

22nd  April 2020

Ye Olde Murenger House

Murenger House

52-53, High Street


NP20 1GA


19:30 Start. Guest poet, reading from 'Heft'.

23rd April 2020

Poems & Pints

Imperial Hotel

High Street

Myrther Tydfil

CF47 8UH


20:00 Start. Guest poet, reading from 'Heft'.

27th May 2020


The Poetry Pharmacy

36, High Street

Bishop's Castle



19:30 start. £3.00 on the door. Joint reading with Kemal Houghton.


Red Squirrel Press Launch 'Heft'

Date to be advised - Edinburgh venue



Date to be advised - Glasgow venue

Red Squirrel Press Launch 'Heft'

23rd Sept 2020

The Journey of Making a Poem

(Workshop on behalf of the Poet in Residence)

Chester Cathedral

12, Abbey Square

Chester. CH1 2HU

10:30 to 12:30

1st Oct 2020

National Poetry Day Open Mic

Wallasey Central Library

Earlston Road



CH45 5DX (18:00 to 20:00 provisional)


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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2nd Oct 2020

Wirral Poetry Festival

Tranmere Rovers Football Club

Prenton Road West



CH42 9PY

18:00 Start

© 2020 by David J. Costello.