Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2023: Respite

Today, I walked Dinas Dinlle with the wind hurting my ears
And saw Elephant Rock showing more of itself above sand.
I found nursehound eggs too plentiful to count and
A single thornback ray case.
The sand martins have returned;
Eight flew above us, darting behind, in front and around us.
And then a definite swallow, his long V of a tail
Folded neatly, balancing him as he rested on a telephone wire.

Here, I finally found enough space to breathe without choking.

Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2023 Winners

Poetry Archive Now! was established in 2020 to enable us to gather recordings from a much wider pool of talented poets from the UK and ...

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Eabhan Ní Shuileabháin

Originally from Ireland, I have been living in Wales since 2003. I have been writing for as long as I can remember, and a lot of my work is based on my own emotional life, though I also write from multiple perspectives, often with a strong social conscience. This poem “Respite” is about how I coped while taking chemotherapy drugs after an operation to remove bowel cancer.


A special thank you to our WordView 2023 poets.

Here's what our PAN Wordview 2023 judges have to say about this year's competition. Robert Seatter, says "ever a joy and a privilege to co-judge the Poetry Archive Now annual competition, tapping into a pulse of thought and feeling from around the globe, condensed into intensely crafted poems. The entries came from all continents, covered myriad themes, spoke in different voices, but all shared a fundamental belief in the power of poetry to speak from the soul."

Courtney Conrad says "the poets who participated in this competition reminded us that poetry is a tool for change, a medium for reflection, and a source of inspiration. These poets have left an indelible mark on me and the world, and I can't wait to see how their words continue to shape our collective consciousness in the future."

Merrie Joy Williams says "The Poetry Archive is such an indispensable resource - the idea that a poem read in a poet’s own voice can outlast those seemingly endless moments tinkering until a poem feels right, or at least robust enough to convey a memory or insight - so exploring these entries was a privilege and joy. Selecting a final twenty was tortuous. So many captured the spirit of these times, when so many things are at risk of erosion or at a critical juncture: the environment, the misuse of AI, truthfulness, the modus operandi of those who run our countries, and issues of social justice and humanity. Others captured personal moments of reckoning in bold and intimate and surprising ways. Somehow we’ve managed to narrow them down and here we have, I think, a wide range of voices and approaches, personal and political, national and international, witty and wise, often proving that these dialectic notions are one and the same."

See the collectionWatch the full Wordview 2023 playlist