Poems

Primers Shortlist – Roderic Vincent

With this final poet, we reach the end of our Primers shortlist features. We hope you’ve enjoyed discovering their work as much as we have – and we’re certain you’ll be anticipating Kathryn Maris and Jane Commane’s final decision as eagerly as we are. The judges are due to announce the three poets that will…

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Primers Shortlist – Maureen Cullen

We hope you’ve been enjoying discovering the work of the Primers shortlist as much as we have. Over the last few weeks we’ve been showcasing those poets in the running for our mentoring and publication scheme with Nine Arches Press. We’re entering the home straight in our poem features having already presented work from Geraldine Clarkson, Jo…

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‘Binge-Watch’

A poem for Chris Packham You— all cable-knit dadbod, clean cut, clean eating, lisping your feathered Corbynomics, warning of the plight of hedgehogs, the risk of transgender fish and Oh! those otters. This is Binge-Watch, not Autumn Watch. I watch you— boxed, badger-setted, episode by episode, not as young as you used to be (but…

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Primers Shortlist – Mark Cooper

We hope you’ve been enjoying discovering the work of the Primers shortlist as much as we have. Over the last few weeks we’ve been showcasing those poets in the running for our mentoring and publication scheme with Nine Arches Press. We’ve already featured poems from Geraldine Clarkson, Jo Young, Kate Davis, Katie Griffiths, Ken Evans, Louise Ordish and Lucy Ingrams. Now, let’s…

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Primers Shortlist – Lucy Ingrams

We hope you’ve been enjoying discovering the work of the Primers shortlist as much as we have. Over the last few weeks we’ve been showcasing those poets in the running for our mentoring and publication scheme with Nine Arches Press. Hopefully you’ve already had a chance to read poems from Geraldine Clarkson, Jo Young, Kate Davis, Katie Griffiths, Ken Evans and…

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Primers Shortlist – Louise Ordish

We hope you’ve been enjoying discovering the work of the Primers shortlist as much as we have. Over the last few weeks we’ve been showcasing some of those ten poets in the running for our mentoring and publication scheme with Nine Arches Press. The good news is, there are still five poets to come. Do…

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Primers Shortlist – Ken Evans

We’ll be spending the next month or so discovering the work of the Primers shortlist – the ten poets in the running for our mentoring and publication scheme with Nine Arches Press. This marks the half-way point of those poets shortlisted for the inaugural Primers. You’ve already seen work from Geraldine Clarkson, Jo Young, Kate…

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Primers Shortlist – Katie Griffiths

We’ll be spending the next month or so discovering the work of the Primers shortlist – the ten poets in the running for our mentoring and publication scheme with Nine Arches Press. So far we’ve seen poems from three of our poets – Geraldine Clarkson, Jo Young and Kate Davis – and next up is……

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Primers Shortlist – Kate Davis

We’ll be spending the next month or so discovering the work of the Primers shortlist – the ten poets in the running for our mentoring and publication scheme with Nine Arches Press. So far we’ve seen poems from Geraldine Clarkson and Jo Young, and next up is… Kate Davis Kate Davis is from Barrow-in-Furness, where…

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Primers Shortlist – Jo Young

We’ll be spending the next month or so discovering the work of the Primers shortlist – the ten poets in the running for our mentoring and publication scheme with Nine Arches Press. We kicked off these features last week with Geraldine Clarkson, and next up it’s… Jo Young Jo is 39 and from York. She…

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Primers Shortlist: Geraldine Clarkson

Welcome to the first in a series of sneak peeks at the Primers candidates. The shortlist has been announced and the judges, Jane Commane from Nine Arches Press and Kathryn Maris, are busily reading the full submissions to decide which three poets will receive mentoring and publication in the inaugural Primers: Debut Poetry Shorts. We’re eager to find…

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National World Octopus Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day, but did you know that today is also World Octopus Day? Coincidence? We think not. We discovered not too long ago that almost everyone who worked for the Poetry School had written, completely independently of the other, a poem about an octopus. This included our former Director, Ollie Dawson, whose…

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Happy National Poetry Day!

To celebrate, here is a sumptuous jumble of poems touching upon the themes of ‘books’, ‘bookshops’, ‘craft’, ‘design’, ‘handwriting’, ‘reading’ and ‘libraries’. Thank you to all who made recommendations, and if there are any that I’ve missed, please write them in the comments section below as I’d love to see them. Enjoy! ✎ ‘In my…

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‘Playing Your Guitar’

Because my stairwell still creaks with your step and your door snaps shut and your cold must swells the air that trips my every breath. Because I wallow in the contradictions of grief, where you stood, you stand, where you cannot be. Because heaven gives hell a shell loss cracks in absolutions or conceits, I…

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‘Arachne’

See me now, a loathsome lob, mantling the May shrouding September in lurex knit; each intricate design mathematically marked with my own round cob of a body. My thread finer than any goddess’ silk, its ductile strength bears the weight of creation; my colours, luminous in sun-spectrum, silvered by moonlight. What do Athene’s dull-dyed wools…

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‘Syrup’

  COMMENT Judith Taylor is a poet who lives and works in Aberdeen. “I wrote this for the last assignment in Miriam Gamble’s course ‘Peacocks & Hemlocks: the Art of Repetition’: I had tried to write about candying back in the winter, but the repetitiousness of the process was making the poem dull and I…

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How I Did It: ‘protest of the physical’

The long poem which makes up the centre of physical took about two years to write and then another three to sculpt into the version that exists in this collection. Around 2010 three things happened; I graduated from undergraduate study, I found out I’d got a grant to go on a free Arvon course and,…

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‘Epithalamium in Twenty Six Creatures’

The air holds highways, paths; perches firm as knowledge. Like nouns are held by verbs: windhover, hawk. The doing is the thing. A slink, a splash, a slick gleam of dark: splitting the river’s glass together, wearing the water’s name. Dog mother, dog father, chasing sun over the blue-blind snow, loping home to winter. Small…

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‘Elegy for Retired Crayola® Colours’

I unroll a teal-blue sky to draw the day on its awning. With nubs of wax I shape chimeras in clouds of lemon yellow and magic mint. I layer raw umber over blizzard blue, match mulberry to orange-red. I peel the paper casing from the black crayon to seal the techni-coloured page with night. I’ve…

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How I Did It: ‘Crocodile’

As a child I loved the London Natural History Museum. One free afternoon in the summer of 2010, I went back nostalgically with my husband only to regret the heat and school holiday hordes. I found myself lingering in front of a case that contained rounded stones in a range of sizes, quills lacking feathers,…

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‘The Yeti’

I met the Yeti in Tibet. In the Lhakpa La, by the Rongbuk glacier, northeast of Everest, we met. I: [the ice in my eyes] … Dad? And, he: [doing seemingly nothing but shuffling around in the snow] He was, I knew, founded on grains of truth. Host to his parasites, scalp to hallux, hair…

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How I Did It: ‘the Interrupters’

the Interrupters no two can meet the way we have met WS Graham a foyet like the day of the dead for it is full with missing children this is how violence starts, first the perception of a slight of an insult within the context of a culture that has taught the imperative that you…

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How I Did It: ‘The Ballad of the Small-Boned Daughter’

Shafilea Ahmed died in September 2003 aged 17. She was a British Pakistani girl from Warrington, Cheshire. She was a beautiful and spirited girl who was murdered in a so called ‘honour killing’ by her parents. Like so many others I watched the long gruesome trial in 2012 when her parents were finally convicted of…

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How I Did It: ‘Mort-Dieu’

It’s tempting to look at the title poem of An Aviary of Small Birds, as it not only expresses a literary influence (in particular, the poem references a mythical bird the Octobrine as coined by Pablo Neruda) but also encapsulates the high note I was reaching for, as a lyric and an elegy. However, the…

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‘Dare You Blow it Out’

Slugs ease in round half eleven. Double, teeth on her graphite tourniquet, looms up the wall. Ceiling’s Brownian mandala. Candle, eating its amygdala, gives a masonic wink to Minton glaze on the mantel, vase and jug, that aluminium lamp, as an artist would bring them to life I expect.   COMMENT “I imagine tutor Tom…

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