Emma Rees (Editor), Still Life: Poetry from the Cheshire Prize for Literature 2010
In a hot Spanish kitchen a little boy’s mouth waters as he daydreams about the citrus tang of freshly-squeezed juice; in the weak sunlight outside a Russian Orthodox church, splinters of wood ‘dance’ like so many motes of dust; and in a camp in Germany three prisoners of war look upwards and marvel at the near-weightless liberty of the birds they see.
These are some of the exquisite moments – almost visual in their vibrancy – that are captured in the pages of Still Life. In this rich and textured anthology, the mundane is transfigured as poets attempt to answer – or at least to establish – the ‘big’ questions of life. In being recalled and recorded in poetry, ‘still lives’ are endowed both with vitality and with a particular kind of immortality, too.
The Cheshire Prize for Literature was inaugurated in 2003 as the High Sheriff’s Cheshire Prize for Literature. It is funded by Bank of America and administered by the University of Chester. The 2010 competition was for poetry and this anthology contains 58 of the short-listed entries, including those of the eventual winners. Details of the prize are available at: www.chester.ac.uk/literatureprize