Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 15 June 2015

  • Wood

    When you reach the trees
    the apple’s rotted
    on the golden bough,
    – canker grown, fly-blown –

    depths are still depths
    but the way swirls in shallows,
    the rough hint of path runs
    up only to bramble.

    But this last look, wake-up
    pinch, hollow laugh, sorrow –
    might be a fork’s touch,
    a fresh furrow.


    by Olivia Byard


    A reminder that the deadline for submissions to the Poetry Centre’s International Poetry Prize is 31 August. There are two categories: Open and English as a Second Language, and First Prize in each category is £1000. The competition will be judged by Bernard O’Donoghue and Hannah Lowe, and you can enter by visiting this page.

    As part of the MCS Arts Festival Oxford (20 June-5 July), the highly-acclaimed poet Roger McGough will be reading on 30 June. You can find more details on the festival site. On 27 June, the festival will also host a youth poetry slam, featuring a wide range of students from across Oxfordshire, and an Illumination Poetry Workshop with Penny Boxhall, Tuesday 30th June, Old Library, University Church of St Mary the Virgin.

    ‘Wood’ is copyright © Olivia Byard, 2015. It is reprinted from The Wilding Eye: New and Selected Poems (Worple Press, 2015) by permission of Worple Press.

    Notes from Worple Press:

    Olivia Byard was born in South Wales and grew up on the Cotswolds and in Montreal, Canada. Her debut collection From a Benediction (1998) was short-listed for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and was followed by Strange Horses (2011). Her various roles have included factory worker, academic researcher, community organiser, children’s book writer, book controller, phone advisor for Mind, and, for the last twenty-one years, creative writing tutor. She is politically engaged, especially on Green issues. She comments online and her letters regularly appear in the Guardian. You can read more about her latest book on the Worple website, and follow her work on her own site.

    Worple Press was founded by Peter and Amanda Carpenter in 1997 and publishes 6-8 books a year by new and established poets: collections, pamphlets, works in translation, essays, interviews. Early authors included Iain Sinclair, Joseph Woods, Beverley Bie Brahic, Kevin Jackson and the acclaimed American nature poet Peter Kane Dufault. Recent collections (2014/2015) include Andy Brown’s Exurbia, Isabel Galleymore’s Dazzle Ship, Martyn Crucefix’s A Hatfield Mass, Julian Stannard’s The Street of Perfect Love, and Clive Wilmer’s Urban Pastorals. More information can be found at the publisher’s website, and on Facebook and Twitter

    Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.