Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 22 October 2018

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    A chicken box ricochets down the aisle: Hot
    & Tasty - just the way you like it! 
    Tonight,
    the pigeon-shit town washes by, under a cold
    and tasteless sky; this place where we’ve wasted
    our lives like two spiders circling a sink.
    And the plastic seats swing through the streets
    and the STOP button shrieks at you to STOP,
    but the silver trace of everyone’s day has fogged
    the top deck windows, and you dare to wipe
    your name in the breath that’s censed a hundred
    rain-bedazzled hoods; knowing that the cost
    of those letters in condensation – your
    wet syllables ghosting sodium light –
    is the use of all of those strangers’ breaths.

    by Natalie Whittaker 


    Listen to Natalie read the poem on our website.

    This week we will be sharing two poems from our newest ignitionpress pamphlets which are being launched in London on Thursday (we’ll also be at the Woodstock Poetry Festival on 10 November).

    We are delighted to introduce you first of all to Natalie Whittaker, whose pamphlet is called Shadow Dogs. Writing about the pamphlet, John Stammers notes: ‘[t]here is so much to admire in this collection, the reader will surely return repeatedly to the poems to find more to enthral them. The current poetry scene has gained a fresh, exciting voice.’ We very much hope that you’ll be able to join us at the Poetry Café in London to launch Natalie’s pamphlet and Small Inheritances by Belinda Zhawi. We’ll be sharing a poem from Belinda’s pamphlet later this week, and the pamphlets will be available to buy via our online Shop very soon.

    Natalie Whittaker is from South East London, where she works as a secondary school teacher. She studied English at New College, Oxford. Her poems have been published in Poetry NewsBrittle StarAesthetica Creative Writing Annual#MeToo: A Women’s Poetry Anthology and South Bank Poetry. Natalie was awarded second place in the Poetry on the Lake short poem competition 2018 and the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition 2017. You can follow Natalie on Twitter.

    ignitionpress, based at Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre, is a poetry pamphlet press with an international outlook which publishes original, arresting poetry from emerging poets, and established poets working on interim or special projects. The Managing Editor of the press is Les Robinson, who was the founder and director of the renowned poetry publisher tall-lighthouse until 2011. The first group of pamphlets, by Lily Blacksell, Mary Jean Chan, and Patrick James Errington, were published in February 2018. Mary Jean’s pamphlet, A Hurry of English, was selected by the Poetry Book Society as its Summer Pamphlet Choice 2018. You can learn more about the press and buy the pamphlets on the  Poetry Centre website.

    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.