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THE MELITA HUME SHORTLIST 2014: SHELLEY ROCHE-JACQUES (7 OF 11)

Dr Shelley Roche-Jacques (pictured) was born in 1978 in Sheerness, on the Isle of Sheppey. She studied at Sheffield Hallam University, where she recently completed a PhD on the Browningesque dramatic monologue. She also works at Sheffield Hallam as an Associate Lecturer.

Her poetry has appeared in magazines such as The Rialto, The Wolf, Magma, Other Poetry, The SHOp, The Interpreter's House and The Boston Review. A selection of her work is included in the anthology Ten Hallam Poets, published by Mews Press and The Sheffield Anthology from Smith/Doorstop.
 
She has collaborated with actors, musicians and other poets. She adapted her sequence about the life of the Pre-Raphaelite model Elizabeth Siddal for performance and received Arts Council funding to write and perform a sequence of dramatic monologues in response to an archive of Victorian flood compensation claims.
 
Mouse in a Government Building

They've had their fingers burnt before
pulling rabbits out of hats.
We stay hushed in the seams
supposing that's the reason
they are demonstrating caution.

There is a rumour that somewhere
in the future there'll be traps,
that, going forward, they are planning
to dismantle the architecture.

We hear decision dates spill by
and cabinets bulge with problems
awkward as the faces shelved inside.
Morsels are brought to the table,
seasoned talk of aims and agency.

We take stock, make fit our purpose.
In the half-light we ply and fathom
the building. We will never tell them
which treaty right we are exercising. 
poem COPYRIGHT THE POET 2014
 

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