“Just to let you know that my collection of 10 poems 'Birds Thoughts', has just won 1st Prize in The New Writer Prose and Poetry Competition. The judge Adi Curtis says: ‘A beautifully-crafted collection, demonstrating a wonderful and inventive use of form, striking imagery and control of language. The collection has a lovely thematic unity, delicacy and poise. The poems create compelling miniature narratives’. The collection will be published in the July/August edition of The New Writer. See: www.thenewwriter.com/prizes.htm.
“Here is the title poem.
Alighting now on shin,
on scapula, flickering through the ribcage
in a series of quickly repeated wing beats,
they belong to particular territory,
a certain boundary consisting of a house,
a potato patch and the brambled side
of a railway cutting. We guard them
with habitual throaty callings,
inhabit the body like warm tea left in a cup
or something that has insinuated itself
into a shell – a chough’s black paddling
through the air, a wren’s argumentation
from a rock. They fly back and forth
into unguarded gardens, build each year
with the same grey leaves, migrate
when the trees have been cut down
and the brushwood burnt. Chasing through holy oak –
shaking a few sunlit leaves,
agitating a shadow – they travel without grazing
their breasts or dark caps.
We cannot track them. They flock like starlings
above winter fields
and their music is the racket of crows
or the muffled castanet-sound of linnets.
“Also, I am very pleased to have won the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize for the best poem published in Poetry Review in 2009 by a poet who has not yet published a volume.
“I'm writing to invite you to the award ceremony at the British Library at 6.45pm on April 7th, 2010 - I will be reading a short selection of my poems including the winning poem 'Visitation' , described by the judge as “a brief encounter with the ineffable”. The main event will be a reading given by this year's judge, Glyn Maxwell, a well-known poet and author. The evening will be the launch of the spring edition of Poetry Review called 'Our Disappearing World', which also contains a new poem by me! It would be lovely to see you there.
“You can read more about the evening (and book) on: www.poetrysociety.org.uk