The latest collection from Oxford poet Jenny Lewis, Taking Mesopotamia, was inspired by research into the wartime experiences of her father (above), who died when she was a baby. His leg had been shattered by a bullet during the First World War, while serving in an area of Mesopotamia which is now part of Iraq Her research led her to look at how the 2003 invasion of Iraq grew out of the history of British interests in Mesopotamia in colonial times.

Some of the poems come out of her verse drama After Gilgamesh, written three years ago for the Pegasus Theatre in East Oxford, and the theme of hubris (pride before a fall) structures the book, which is illustrated with photographs taken in Mesopotamia by 2nd Lieut Lewis.

Taking Mesopotamia (Carcanet, £9.95) will be launched at the Oxford Literary Festival on March 25. See