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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 ClarksonJo YoungKate DavisKatie GriffithsKen Evans and Louise Ordish. And next up, it’s…

Lucy Ingrams

Lucy Ingrams has had poems published in various magazines – both print and online. She won the Birkbeck Michael Donaghy Poetry Prize and is currently studying on the MPhil Creative Writing programme at the University of South Wales under Philip Gross.



Lost in the rigour of lightless streets, I remember a hopeless
feeling of going-with – our large-eyed, flatfish
effort to absorb bad tourist karma ­– then this:

colour and a sudden opening-out, the famous
piazza’s brick petalling underfoot – like a rose
parachute, hemmed with amber palaces, café-bar umbrellas.

At first our sight was pupa-soft, weak with lack
of narrative. I lit on pigeons queuing for a fountain soak,
a kicking breeze that blew contrada flags awake,

dreamed palio hoofbeats – the horses moving as one silk
(bay, chestnut, dun) – before I could come to: take in the stock
of morning quiet, the other tourists – each reprieved a space,

like us ­– stunned out of role, no longer lusting after somewhere
else to be. Photographs bloomed in the strawberry
light, but we sat down, liminal still, and tried to store

the picture cellularly, mindful of the waiting dark, as you might
pick a crop of pippins one by one, and stow them in an apple loft
to rhyme against the blight of winter’s onset.


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

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