AN inspirational collection of poetry, including prize-winning poems, will be launched as part of the Essex Book Festival.

David Canning, from Colchester, has been working for the past four years on his new poetry book called The Celestial Spheres.

In his book, Mr Canning has assembled poems which reflect upon our connectedness, and our search for the things which bring significance, satisfaction or security.

The poems move through themes of ambition, wisdom, inconstancy, war, love and spirituality, but the central theme relates to how we are often moved or influenced by forces and people unknown or unseen.

David’s poetry has been long listed in the National Poetry Competition, twice shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and won first prize and a special mention in the Sentinel Quarterly Literary Review.

This year he was commended in the Poetry Society’s annual Stanza Competition, and his work has been published in several anthologies, in magazines and in film.

Last year one of his poems featured on television as part of a garden design project on Channel Five’s The Great Gardening Challenge.

David is also known for his poetry about climbing and mountaineering and he has just been appointed to the judging panel for the Boardman Tasker Prize for mountain literature.

The Celestial Spheres is David’s second collection of poems.

His first one, called An Essex Parish, was published in 2015.

The book will be launched on March 12 at the Battle-Lay Tea Room at the Minories Gallery, in High Street.

The evening will include poetry performances by David and live music from Andy Flanagan – who describes himself as an Irish, ex-doctor, political rabble-rousing and singer-songwriter.

Entry is free. For more information about the event and the Essex Book Festival, visit