top of page
Cocoa and Nothing

'This is instantly the most desirable poetry publication of 2023'

-- Ian Morrison


Cocoa and Nothing

ships after 21st February


by Colin Herd and Maria Sledmere

120mm x 120mm, 404pp.

ISBN: 978-1-915049-18-6
Publication date: 21st February 2023

Launch party date: 21st February 2023


poetry is as good as chocolate

chocolate is as good as poetry

— Bernadette Mayer,
‘Chocolate Poetry Sonnet’


This is a big book. It’s inside and out. It’s peace. Were you ever encouraged by anyone, even your greatest love to go on and on about flavors, food personalities. I think this is that friendship, two poets joining at the mouth to free themselves in a kind of a blaze of total orality. I want to lie in it. I love it cause I’m with it by the way.

— Eileen Myles



Cocoa and Nothing is a Quality Street of poetry, offering different literary flavours. It's also a chocolate fountain (bursting with imagery) as well as a fondue, begging for the reader to dip their own experiences in and see what comes back out. A very tasty read touching on collaborative processes and tastes.

— Sean Wai Keung


I love the ebb and flow of these beautiful poems – like tide pools, they collect the trinkets and colourful stones of a hyperconnected world (call it ‘that keeps disappointing’ yet nevertheless manages to yield ‘tiny prickly pearls’ should you sift, as Herd and Sledmere do, long enough.

— Andrew Durbin


The fading hope of novelty melting on the tongue / the pay-off of sugar / the workaday grimness of 'Quadratisch. Praktisch. Gut' – all this and more is expressed in this jocular Ritter Sport themed collection that, like its pocket-shaped muse, has seen all and will tell all. I loved it! A generous book of poems with a flavour to sate every inclination.

— Rebecca May Johnson


I know sex is good but have you ever tried combining poetry and chocolate? Even better, make it squared! Cocoa and Nothing is the culmination of a season of relay between what Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities called “the chocolate sprites”, inhabited here by Colin Herd and Maria Sledmere, fuelled by toothache, training and their favourite brand of iconic confectionary. Each poem is named after a variety of Ritter Sport and crystallises obsessively around the vibe affinity of each flavour. A poem can be a body image or a slice of portal. Documenting the nutty bits of daily existence — from academic burnout to boxing, trash, gossip and the family whatsapp — this is an ambitious assortment of lyrical gems, crispy confessions, devotion to grans and mischievous epistles. It’s both a love book and burn book of the general nourishment that is poetry itself — portable nutrition fit for all of life’s marathons. 




Maria Sledmere is the author of Visions & Feed (HVTN Press, 2022), Cherry Nightshade (slub press, 2022), Sans Soleil – with fred spoliar (Face Press, 2022), String Feeling (Erotoplasty Editions, 2022) and The Luna Erratum (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2021) among other publications. With Rhian Williams, she co-edited the weird folds: everyday poems from the anthropocene (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2020). Her work has been shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the Year and highly commended in the Forward Prize. A collaborative exhibition with Jack O’Flynn, The Palace of Humming Trees, was curated by Katie O’Grady and shown at French Street Studios in 2021. 


Her favourite Ritter Sports are Honey Salted Almonds, Praline and Butter Biscuit.


Colin Herd is the author of too ok (blazeVOX, 2011), Glovebox (Knives, Forks and Spoons, 2013), Oberwilding – with SJ Fowler, (ACF, 2015), Swamp Kiss (Red Ceilings Press, 2018), Click and Collect (Boiler House Press, 2017), and You Name It (Dostoevsky Wannabe, 2019). He has also collaborated on the artist books blots with Susan Wilson (2013) and Press Back Up Help (2013) with Cat Outram. His poem ‘rug design’ was highly commended in the Forward Prizes 2014. 


His favourite Ritter Sports are Marzipan, Cashew and White Whole Hazelnuts. 


Cocoa and Nothing

    bottom of page