Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 16 June 2020

  • Undoing                                            


    I return
    to all the places.

    Everything I have done
    I have also undone,

    marriage,
    citizenships.

    Trying on clothes
    nothing fits.

    If you don’t belong
    to where you’re from,

    you can make anywhere
    home.

    Little viola cenisia
    root shallow and fast

    on shifting scree.
    Hang on.


    by Anja Konig


    This week we are delighted to showcase poetry from a press that we haven’t featured before: Bad Betty Press. You can find out more about Bad Betty’s work below and on the press’s website.

    The Poetry Centre has just launched its International Poetry Competition for 2020! We’re delighted to say that our judge this year is the Forward Prize-winning poet Fiona Benson. As always, we have two categories: Open and English as an Additional Language. The winners receive £1000, with £200 for the runners up. For more details and to enter, visit our website

    The Centre also recently released a new online publication: the e-anthology ‘My teeth don’t chew on shrapnel’: an anthology of poetry by military veterans. This anthology features exciting, moving, and provocative work by US and UK veterans who were participants in workshops held by the Poetry Centre in 2019-20 and also includes writing about veterans (including an essay by WWI expert Jane Potter) and some writing prompts by Susie Campbell for anyone interested in developing their own writing. The anthology is free to download from the Poetry Centre website and we would very much welcome your feedback! E-mail us or fill out the short form on the site.

    Anja Konig grew up in the German language and now writes in English. Her pamphlet Advice for an Only Child was shortlisted for the 2015 Michael Marks prize. Her first collection Animal Experiments is out now with Bad Betty Press. You can follow Anja on Twitter. Anja’s new book is being launched virtually on 25 June, and you can sign up to attend here.

    Animal Experiments is a book we need now more than ever. In an era of tribalism, it’s rare to encounter a voice so committed to identifying the root of things as they really are, and then laying those findings bare with benign frankness. While the world ends around us daily, these pages offer a macro and micro view, in which we find ourselves both culpable and insignificant, and it is in that paradox that, perhaps, we might be redeemed.

    Bad Betty Press is an independent publisher of new poetry, founded in 2017 by Amy Acre and Jake Wild Hall. We love writing that is bad (in the Foxy Brown sense) and beautiful (‘a Betty’ in 90s slang). We love the strange, raw and risk-taking. We believe strongly in art’s capacity to challenge its own definition, to curve away from the norm, making space for more and varied voices. Find out more about our books here and follow Bad Betty on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

    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.