The back cover of Polly Atkin’s Shadow Dispatches lists eleven competitions she has variously won, placed in or been shortlisted for – and that’s not counting the Mslexia pamphlet competition in which Shadow Dispatches itself scooped first prize. In all, an impressive twelve awards referenced on one book cover. Although this isn’t a guarantee that the poems inside will be good (some of the poems that win competitions are wonderful; others are wonderfully well-adapted to winning competitions), it does raise serious expectations. And Atkin doesn’t disappoint. Continue reading
Now that this week’s Jericho Tavern extravaganza is over and I have a lull before next week’s Derwent Poetry Festival, I wanted to take the opportunity to catch up on a couple of belated posts.