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.
Katie Griffiths, who grew up in Ottawa, Canada, was runner-up in the Poetry School / Pighog Competition in 2014 with My Shrink is Pregnant. Her blog, A Woman in Goggles, is also the name of the band in which she is singer-songwriter. katiegriffiths.com
This is how a nation cold-shoulders you.
It herds you into an airport concourse,
feeds you from boxes laid out on the floor,
labels you as refugee on express to the front,
though a clutch of relatives harrows your passage.
On the plane, your child will cry.
A hilarious Englishman will shout: give that baby a gin.
Skew this slightly, this setting sail.
It could be famine, or the simple outgrowing of shoes.
It could be dusk, a foghorn throating,
lights juddering on Liverpool docks,
a favourite Noddy toothbrush left behind,
and your mother’s eyes
drenched with three thousand miles of ocean.
Stay tuned for features on all the shortlisted poets over the coming weeks, and find out the full Primers shortlist here.