prize for



My poem Case Study took 2nd place in the 2010 English Association Prize, judges Kathleen Jamie, Jane Draycott & Tim Kendall.


Presentation and reading took place at the British Academy
# The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the English Association


photo by Susan Wilson



Case Study or Using Caddis-Fly Larvae to Construct “Sculptures”

I ease her out of her dull shift
of gravel - gently, for I know
her softness, and where she will cling.
As good as gold, she slips

into the tank. Air beads it
like her mountain pool;
its managed winter
will stay her nymphosis.

Naked as a newborn mouse,
miner for twig-detritus, prospector
after crushed shells of water-snails,
she finds gold.

Gold becomes her.
Gold swaddles and spangles her.
Gold is her first, rough casing
and when I shower my jewels on her

she it is who gives the silk
that binds my gifts to her body.
This one likes my pearls,
that minx prefers diamonds.

You mock muddy nature
in your brilliant precocity
you sly bijou-nymphets,
you little walking hat-pins.