The £1000 award was announced at the Newcastle Poetry Festival on Friday 20th March where the winning poem was read out alongside the other shortlisted entries.
I am the author of several poetry collections, the most recent being Of earth, water, air and fire: animal poems (Melos) and a satire on World War 1 commemoration mania, Trench Feet (Rack).
The prize was awarded for the poem below.
En quoi un homard est-il plus ridicule qu’un chien, qu’un chat,
qu’une gazelle, qu’un lion ou toute autre bête dont on se fait suivre ?
J’ai le goût des homards, qui sont tranquilles, sérieux,
savent les secrets de la mer, n’aboient pas…
I see de Nerval coaxing his lobster,
on a leash of blue ribbon.
He has made his case
for preference of pet:
because it does not bark
and knows the secrets of the sea.
In this morning’s market
the great crustaceans twitch;
a pair of claws squeezes the air;
liquid eels in slippery ranks
slither on stainless steel;
a salmon sleeps in a drift of ice.
Those bloody aprons,
that pink tump of guts
coiled like a frivolous dessert,
enforce a preference for
the Bois – poet and homard,
like a pair of lovers, hand in hand.