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Friday, 7 May 2010

Featured Poet: Christopher Horton

Eyewear is very pleased to welcome Christopher Horton (pictured) this hung-parliament nail-biting Friday. Horton was born in 1978 and grew up in Oxfordshire. He studied English Literature and American Studies at Swansea University. He has lived in the United States and China, where he taught English.

Horton's poetry has been published in City Lighthouse Anthology (Tall-lighthouse) and the New London Poetry (Penned in the Margins) anthology, and in magazines including Poetry London, Ambit, The Wolf and Magma. He has also reviewed for The London Magazine and Horizon (Salt) among others (including Eyewear).

In 2008, he was commended in the National Poetry Competition and in 2009 he was a runner-up in the prestigious Bridport Prize. Horton currently lives in South East London. He co-ordinates literature events for the Museum of London Docklands. He'll be reading for the Oxfam Bookfest this coming July 8th, alongside Declan Ryan, Sam Riviere, Christopher Reid, and others.

Horton strikes me as sensitive, open-minded, with an advanced critical intelligence and sense of decency that makes him a rooted presence in an often divisive scene; he has broad taste, and crosses party lines at ease. He's also a seriously promising up-and-coming poet, and warrants the attention that a first full collection would no doubt bring. I for one look forward to the books that Horton will write this decade.

Attila’s Chair


Of all those who ventured
to the island of Torcello,

walked down the narrow path,
past the wooden footbridge, the old farm house

and some nodding hens,
to sit on Attila’s Chair –

believing that by doing so they would,
as folklore has it, wed within a year –

how many felt a hand on theirs as they touched
the chair’s worn and pitted surface,

tapped their feet against its solid base,
pressed their calves together like children

waiting for something to happen;
and how many in some quiet moment since –

taken from a life of conjugal bickering,
of stymied ambition, or singlehood,

or in the short breath between
the I and do – recalled what it was

that first brought them here,
or the time of day, the tint and texture

of the light, the journey back by boat
across the pale green lagoon.

poem by Christopher Horton
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