Forward Prize shortlist, Day 1: Alice Oswald

9781910702437

Ten days till my workshop on all ten shortlisted books, I’m going to post a little something about one of the books every day. With luck that’ll amount to a fair bit of blogging, as there were some other things I wanted to write about too. Alice Oswald’s new collection is a frankly staggering piece of work, in which she takes on time, life and death, and the language – stripping each of the three elements back to the bone.

Here’s the beginning of ‘Dunt: a Poem for a Dried-up River’:

Very small and damaged and quite dry,
a Roman water nymph made of bone
tries to summon a river out of limestone

very eroded faded
her left arm missing and both legs from the knee down
a Roman water nymph made of bone
tries to summon a river out of limestone

exhausted     utterly worn down
a Roman water nymph made of bone
being the last known speaker of her language
she tries to summon a river out of limestone…

 

Drop me a line if you’d like more info on the workshop.

 

 

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