Poetry from the Cheshire Prize for Literature 2016
Edited by Ian Seed
The poems gathered in this anthology are not unlike small, yet hardy vessels navigating their way across choppy, hazardous waters. They take us with them over to the other side, and when we look back we can hardly believe the voyage we have made. Yet somehow they have kept us safe and brought us to a fresh understanding of our lives.
There are many different kinds of poem to be found here, crossing back and forth, making a rich tapestry of voices, opening new ways into those areas which have always been the territory of poetry: love, death, nature, relationships, age, politics, and indeed poetry itself. They encompass a wide range of tone, from regretful to celebratory, lyrical to comic,dramatic to reflective. Every poem tells a story, or rather shows us a story, since poetry so often thinks in imagery. The poems talk to one another in a kind of ongoing dialogue. When reading this collection, it is difficult not to feel astonished by the different connections and relationships that emerge between them. Each poem stands on its own, yet as we read on (best done out loud), the different voices combine to make a kind of choral music, which lingers in our hearts and minds.
The Cheshire Prize for Literature was inaugurated in 2003 as the High Sheriff’s Cheshire Prize for Literature. It is administered by the University of Chester. The 2016 competition was for poetry, and this collection contains poems by 28 of the shortlisted entries, including those of the eventual winner and runners up. Details of the Prize are available at: www.chester.ac.uk/literatureprize
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