The 2016/17 New Poets Prize Collection
Winners of the 2016/17 New Poets Prize
Chosen by Andrew McMillan
Stealing Shadow is a diverse and multifaceted collection, from poems that both reside in and reinvent childhood, to work that indulges in political satire, nonsense, sexuality, multilingualism and experiments in utopian ideals. With references ranging from Ginsberg, Miller, and Tarkovsky, Stealing Shadow is full of unconventional premises, surprising moments, and a passion for discovery that veers from seriousness to play.
With an informed awareness of its own intertextuality – from American gunslingers and the Blues to the landscape of the Midwest – Wax wanders through the concrete and the abstract, language and idea, the patterned and the primordial. At once urgent and ecstatic, and always politically engaged, Burnette’s intricate collection is, above all, a celebration of the infinite ways that humans reform their world.
Osteology is a candid examination that reveals the workings and hairline fractures of every day life. From haemoglobin to the Yorkshire hills, this collection celebrates the magic of reality, revealing how intricately we are linked to the places we inhabit: the lines that separate our bodies from landscape, memory, and each other are nothing more than a shadow on the sand left by the changing tide. Bringing us back again and again to places and moments that demand to be remembered, and that we might call home, Osteology speaks to an ancient pastoral tradition without nostalgia, pretension or illusion.
Typhoid August’s poems struggle both with forms of power and with the ability of form to apprehend power in verse. Fractured language examines themes of fidelity, grief and control with philosophical and linguistic acuity. Ambitious in its scope, this sequence of poems finds abjection in unlikely places and forces the reader to place themselves in relation to their violent vision.