Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 25 July 2019

  • Broken Waters


    Most people drown
                without making
    a noise or splashing. See me


    here Baby, watch
                me lying
    out plank, below the surface,


    all that stillness, all that
                peace, see
    how long I can breathe


    down here alone. You must
                trust me,
    I am your mother after all,


    don’t think about the firefighter
                who lies
    to the woman on the phone inside


    the burning building, says he’s on his
                way up
    to save her, then hands her brother


    back the phone, tell her you
                love her,

    knowing all his tears


    won’t be enough to quiet the
                flames, I am
    your mother after all, I am made


    to do this. When the mother harp seal
                leaves its cub,
    nobody calls it a mistake,


    I have been at this much longer than
                twelve days –
    just let me float here a while, Baby


    you will still remember my face.
                It will be
    the same one you wear every time


    live cuts in such a way – the serration
                drags the exact
    formation of ripples upon its shape.


    by Amelia Loulli


    We're delighted to say that the Poetry Centre’s ignitionpress has just launched its three newest pamphlets by Joanna Ingham, Jennifer Lee Tsai, and Sarah Shapiro. You can read more about them and buy copies here.

    Our International Poetry Competition is still open for entries until 2 September with two categories: Open and English as an Additional Language. Our judge is Jackie Kay, and you could win £1000! Find out more and enter here.

    This week’s poet, Amelia Loulli, is one of the three poets to appear in the latest volume of Primers, a mentoring and publishing scheme which showcases the work of emerging poets (see more about the scheme below). This year’s scheme is open now until 10 September, and you can find out how to enter it on the Nine Arches website.

    Amelia Loulli lives in Cumbria with her three children and an undisclosed, but significantly large, number of books. Her poetry was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize in 2016 and 2017, and last year she was shortlisted for Primers Volume Three. You can follow her work on Twitter.

    In 2018, The Poetry School and Nine Arches Press launched their nationwide Primers scheme for a fourth time, in search of exciting and emerging talent in contemporary poetry, with Kim Moore and Jane Commane as selecting editors. After reading through hundreds of anonymous entries, and narrowing down the choices from longlist to shortlist, three poets emerged as clear choices: Lewis Buxton, Amelia Loulli and Victoria Richards. Primers: Volume Three now collects together a showcase from each of the three poets. It is an irresistible invitation to step out of ourselves and our bodies and drop your expectations on the dancefloor, to take the plunge on the rollercoaster-ride of grief, motherhood and new life, and to meet desire in all its outrageous, dazzling and joyous forms. Secrets, disclosures, changed names and brilliant disguises make a vivid, adventurous and often deeply moving selection of new work from some of poetry’s most talented emerging voices.

    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.