Sign In using your Campus Account

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 Davis and Katie Griffiths, and the fifth poet is…

Ken Evans

Completing his Master’s this year in Creative Writing, tutored by John McAuliffe at the University of Manchester, Ken Evans works part-time as a lead-mine guide, to what is laughably called, ‘support’ this poetry habit. Ken’s work was longlisted in The Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition 2015 and he won an award in the Poets & Players Competition 2014.


Even this is Too Much

at least, they say,
the consolers’
snagging tongue;
a barb
to halt me
slipping further
into desolate,

at least. Had I
a black tie each
time someone said
at least at funerals,
each new vanishing
should be waved off
with a fresh knot.

at least,
they say,
the quantifiers’
turbid sum,
she didn’t suffer,
matching each beat
of her mother’s heart.

My own heart’s pulsing,
the day my daughter
fails to arrive on time,
or at all,
on seven months,
at least they said…

she won’t have to live
with this; as if unable
to climb the womb
is proof life itself
would not have done,
rough as it is on heels
caught in stirrups.

At least is grief
at its’ most garrulous
when it talks
too much already,
the beads on a string,
running through
rimpled fingers.

at least:
a small grey bone
pressing my chest
beneath the surface,
a search for glimmers
rubbed smooth by
the grasping.


Stay tuned for features on all the shortlisted poets over the coming weeks, and find out the full Primers shortlist here.


Add your Reply