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New Poetry Award

Perhaps nothing can make someone cringe more than the phrase "new poetry award" - there are so many awards these days, it sometimes seem there aren't enough days in the week to respond to them all.  However, poetry needs some awards, if only to stir interest, and overcome the obstacles that many smaller presses have in competing with the overwhelming extra authority and clout a few of the largest imprints and houses seem to possess, as if by right.  So it is good news to see that Coffee-House Poetry at The Troubadour has launched a prize for debut collections.  Out of 77 submitted, 15 have been shortlisted - see below.  Congratulations to all, especially Abi Curtis, Carrie Etter, Tom Chivers, and Katrina Naomi, since I have read those collections and appreciated them; but the others no doubt hold promise too.  I am sorry to see that b/w was not selected, or, for that matter, Cinammon Press books seem not to have been submitted - surely, Sheila Hillier's debut collection is extraordinary.  Anyway - good to see these listed :



  • Unexpected Weather — Abi Curtis (Salt)
  • Snow Calling — Agnieszka Studzinska (Salt)
  • Inroads — Carolyn Jess-Cooke (Seren Books)
  • The Tethers — Carrie Etter (Seren Books)
  • The Method Men — David Briggs (Salt)
  • Breath — Ellen Phethean (Flambard Press)
  • When God Has Been Called Away to Greater Things — Grace Wells (Dedalus Press)
  • Berg — Hilary Menos (Seren Books)
  • King of Country — Howard Wright (Blackstaff Press)
  • The Girl with the Cactus Handshake — Katrina Naomi (Templar Poetry)
  • Insensible Heart — Maureen Jivani (Mulfran Press)
  • A Republic of Linen — Patrick Brandon (Bloodaxe Books)
  • New Light for the Old Dark — Sam Willetts (Cape Poetry)
  • How to Build a City — Tom Chivers (Salt)
  • Even the Sea — Eleanor Livingstone (Red Squirrel Press)
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The runner-up is: Daniel Duffy - 'President Returns To New York For Brief First Visit'

Wheeler Light currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.



Life Jacket

summer camp shirtsI couldn’t fit in then
are half my size nowI wanted to wear
smaller and smallerarticles of clothing
I shrunk to the sizethat disappeared

of an afterthoughtin a sinking ship body
too buoyant to sinktoo waterlogged for land
I becamea dot of sand