The Dogs

The Dogs is a book about what humans have done to the world and what we have done to ourselves.

Specifically, it is a book about ‘Man’s best friends’ – their origin-myths, and their place in the world before they were co-opted into human society and ideas of pure breeding and dysgenics. 

It touches upon the origin myths of dogs, how they have been viewed by different societies through the centuries and how man co-opted dogs into everyday life. It also looks at the effects of genetic changes on dogs through breeding and imagines a future world where dogs have learned to speak and are demanding better treatment from humans.

The Dogs also imagines a future where dogs develop the power of speech; led by the non-violent UnderDogs and the more radical Der UberHünd, the animals of the world begin demanding their rights.

The Dogs includes original illustrations by artist Louis Benoit. The Dogs became an exhibition at Artworks, The Everybody Gallery, Halifax, in the summer of 2023. The exhibition also included sculptures by Moira Benoit and a 3D Soundscape by musicians, Dr  Hyunkook Lee and Katia Sochaczewska

Published: 1 July, £7.99

ISBN 9781739173029

Official promo:


“Michael Stewart’s paean to man’s-best-friend and his unflinching dissection of the human-canine relationship is a brilliantly original book-length sequence: a tour-de-force of visionary imagination that is at once apocalyptic and analytical, compassionate and chaotic, darkly comedic—and deadly serious. In this grenade of a book, Stewart has done for Dog what Ted Hughes did for Crow.”

Steve Ely 

“In this inventive collection, Michael Stewart approaches Rilke’s proposition that, with dogs, we have created ‘a soul for which there is no heaven’. Origin stories, recent histories and a future when hierarchies are subverted mingle in an affecting, heady narrative that makes us think about human cruelty. These poems are exciting, exhilarating, moving and profound.”

Helen Mort

Watch a documentary about the book here:

Read an insightful review from Sheenagh Pugh here

“Louis-Ferdinand Celine dragging Alan Garner into a dark wood.” 

“A fiery indictment of cruelty, to animals, and also of cruelty to refugees, to poor families queuing at food banks, to all those shackled and crushed by austerity and the swindles and sweat-stealing of capitalism.”

Absolutely brilliant review here of The Dogs by Nick Moss in Culture Matters

Read a piece in the Telegraph and Argus here

Read a poem in the Morning Star here

Substantial overview here

A feature in Bookanista here

Yorkshire Post 24 July 2023

Stunning review in Poetry Salzburg Review:

Read a review by William Thirsk-Gaskill here

Read an interview and extracts of the book at Ben Banyard’s blog here

In conversation with Kate Fox:


Listen to a dog-themed playlist here:

Listen to a podcast here:

Listen to The Dogs podcast on Everyone’s Talking with Fiona Love.