Didicoy by Karen Downs-Barton offers us poems of huge emotional impact. The ability to take subject matter of great importance and express it through significant formal gifts makes the impact of these poems breathtaking. The collection is wonderfully peopled, with an unforgettable portrait of a mother and a powerful and important depiction of life in a children’s home. Writing like this, which combines real expressive skill with material which must be expressed, really reminds us what poetry is for. – Jonathan Edwards, co-judge of the International Book & Pamphlet Competition
Karen Downs-Barton is an Anglo-Romani writer who, after a peripatetic childhood including times in state care, now lives in Wiltshire. Winner of the Cosmo Davenport-Hines prize (2021) and Creative Future silver medallist (2022) she is a PhD candidate at King’s College London, exploring identity through minority languages and multilingualism in entertainment industries.