In 2008, she won the Bridport Prize for her sonnet, Still Water, Orange, Apple, Tea. Judge, David Harsent, said of it "…what marks it out is the way this emotional commonplace is adapted to language … no line lacked a surprise … I liked its briskness – celebratory, but never cloying – and liked too, the fine-tuning: … a tone of voice that promotes brevity … where the notes in question sing and tease and intrigue … "
Read and hear the poem: Still Water, Orange, Apple, Tea
For four weeks in October/November 2014, Anne attended the Hawthornden Castle retreat for writers in Midlothian, Scotland, where she completed the first draft of her long poem sequence, The Last Parent.
The sequence is written in two voices, not in dialogue, but in two voices of the same person, running concurrently, each in its own persona. One is that of the bereaved daughter following the death of her second parent. The other is her persona as Administrator of the Estate – a second self, divorced from emotional responses to grief, in order to work on the tasks at hand.
This latter voice is intentionally more gruff and prosaic and speaks as though giving guidelines to a reader who may yet have this responsibility ahead of them. The first piece of advice comes in the second poem in the sequence, Become Psychotic, and begins:
At such a time, you must divide yourself
into separate parts.
One part is allowed to feel the loss.
The other must substitute clubs for hearts.
Poems from The Last Parent sequence have featured (in print and/or audio) in 100 Vapour Trails (067), Antiphon, ARTEMISpoetry, Brittle Star, Poetic Voices, The BeZine, The Book of Love & Loss, Six British Poets and Six English Poets in Bucharest (Eng/Rom), and a second small bilingual collection Let It Come to Us All, translations by Prof Dr Lidia Vianu of the University of Bucharest, published in print by Integral and in an illustrated online version by Contemporary Literature Press.
Now it its fourth (it’s been an odd one to shape and place!) and final incarnation, the sequence gives its title to a second full collection of poems out from Second Light in Spring 2019.
The Poetry on the Lake annual festival is run by Gabriel Griffin, and takes place in (occasionally near) Orta San Giulio, Novaro, east of the southern part of Lake Maggiore.
Anne’s poem Snow snow more cold lonely snow won the first prize, and the Silver Wyvern Award, in 2014, when the competition was judged by Gillian Clarke and Imtiaz Dharker. Gillian Clarke said of it “Snow snow… is a joyful outburst of language, and this poet is confident enough to leave out all punctuation without losing the music. It is gorgeous to read aloud.”
The poem was subsequently published in chapbook anthology, Outlook Variable, Grey Hen Press, 2015, In bilingual collection (Eng/Rom), Only Here till Friday (see Publications , and Fanfare, Second Light Publications, 2015. (more on Fanfare at Second Light website).
The poem which won the Southport Prize in 2009, judged by Jane Aspinall, is Balance Sheet, which was later included in Anne’s first collection, The Janus Hour. The adjudication event was held in Southport.
Read the poem