i.m.o. Dave Knightley
First snow of the New Year and, as ever, the cautious and wary will make as if for a siege; check supplies, tune in for updates, and tut at carefree children who shriek just with the thrill of it. Soon the path to our front door will heave, as laden as the shelves in your room, discarded clothes spilling out of drawers… and suddenly I know it’ll be the footprints I’ll recall – long after you’ve turned to wave goodbye – of a fair haired child, duffle buttoned, chin held high, gloved hands raised in triumph as you watch your first snowball melting into the upturned collar of your father’s winter coat.
The poet Julia Darling encouraged Babs Knightley Short to start writing after she made contact with Julia after hearing one of her short stories on BBC Radio 4 in January 2005. Babs immediately enrolled on an Arvon poetry course with Jean Sprackland and Anthony Wilson and has never looked back. Over the nine years she has been writing, she has progressed from completing a Certificate in Creative Writing at Lancaster University, to studying at post grad level at Newcastle University.
Of ‘The Certainty of Snow’, Babs explains: “One of the assignments on Kathleen Ossip’s excellent course Extreme Poetry introduced me to prose poetry for the first time. At first, I didn’t find it an easy concept to grasp, but I hope I’ve managed to use successfully in this poem. My aim was to recreate that claustrophobic feeling of getting snowed in – being able to crowd together the words without a break made that possible.”