38th Frogmore Prize heads west to Wales

Kathy Miles from Aberaeron, Ceredigion has been awarded the 38th annual Frogmore Poetry Prize by adjudicator Graham Mort for her poem ‘After a Termination on Medical Grounds’.

Born in Liverpool, Kathy has lived in Wales since 1972. She worked for many years at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, where she also completed an MA in Creative Writing. Her fourth collection of poetry, Bone House, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2020, and her latest collection, Vanishing Point, was published earlier this year by Palewell Press. Commenting on the process of adjudicating the Prize, Graham Mort said: ‘I avoided poems that explained themselves, trying to choose those that yielded up further meanings or significance, that burned brightest in my own consciousness, remaining irreducible. I wanted to acknowledge adventure in theme, form and language, to find transformative endings that left my own visions active in the lingering aura of the poem.’

The Frogmore Papers 104. Cover art by Eva Bodinet

First runner-up was Pamela Job from Wivenhoe, Essex, with her poem ‘Nikolai Astrup shows a rare visitor around his village’, inspired by an exhibition of the work of Norwegian artist Nikolai Astrup at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. Second runner-up was Ben Verinder from Tring, Hertfordshire, with his poem ‘The Marfa Lights’. His poem ‘Dilapidations’ also reached the shortlist of ten. Other shortlisted poets were Jane Davidson, Tim Dwyer, Kate Horsley, Sarah Salway, Thea Smiley and Vivienne Tregenza.

Their poems will all be published in the September edition of The Frogmore Papers, available from The Frogmore Press for only £5.00, including post & packing.

Frogmore begins a new century

Artwork by Eva Bodinet

The 101st edition of The Frogmore Papers (spring 2023) has been published and is now available from The Frogmore Press (£5.00, post free) or for Lewes residents from Skylark bookshop in the Needlemakers. With a distinctive cover by Paris-based artist Eva Bodinet, number 101 is another truly international edition, containing poetry from Ireland, the Philippines, the USA and most corners of the UK, prose from France and the USA and artwork by Ukrainian artist Marysya Rudska, as well as the usual reviews of recent poetry publications. Here’s a poem by Chicago-based poet Donna Pucciani, who makes a welcome return to the Papers with this issue.

Donna Pucciani

DIFFERENCE

It’s not the loss of morning light,
a gradual dimming done by autumn’s brush,
keeping the pink sky half-night
even at seven.

It’s the loss of birdsong.
I remember, as though it were just
yesterday, the sharp echoes
bouncing off bare April branches,
promising green and morning music
for the better half of the year,
when picking up the morning paper
becomes a bright cantata.

Now, silence is a burden
that gets heavier through the day,
then drags its leaden feet
through the weeks ahead, until
the deepening snow absorbs it
in the mummified corpse of winter.

I try to appreciate the difference
between music and the still breath
of nothingness at dawn,
which is its own music.
Absence is the fulness of zero,
when the mouths of a thousand flowers
leave behind only the memory of fragrance.

The architecture of longing
hangs in the early morning air,
suspended in space,
happy in its own emptiness,
for desire knows no death.