Wordview 2022: In Spite

In spite of spring, in spite of myself 

I keep seeing through crosshairs: 

blowing the roof off my home, off yours, 

 

smithereening the given and taken-for-granted 

furniture of this land. Learning the language, 

terms that passed under my radar, I process 

 

the landmarks within striking distance: 

Horbury’s spire, Wakefield’s town hall 

and twelve-storey flesh-coloured flats, 

 

Barnsley’s ghost-white hospital and all 

West Yorkshire’s saw-topped sprawl 

as infrastructure, hideouts, flashpoints, 

 

contested strongholds wasted, razed. 

Restless in the small hours, I shatter 

each stately pleasure dome: St Pancras, 

 

St Paul’s, the Paris Opera, to stumble 

through Europe’s bones: Versailles smoke 

and rubble, bare feet crunching those mirrors. 

Poem recorded as part of Poetry Archive Now: Wordview 2022. Used by permission of author.

Wordview 2022 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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Julia Deakin

Julia Deakin is well known on the northern poetry circuit and beyond as an established poet and as editor of the poetry magazine Pennine Platform. A keen walker, birder and ice skater, her four collections are praised by UK poets including Simon Armitage, Michael Symmons Roberts and Gillian Clarke. She has read on Poetry Please and won a few prizes – none of them for skating.

A special thank you to our WordView 2021 poets.

Chair of the Judging Panel, Joelle Taylor, says: "We were thrilled by the range and scope of the poetry and techniques explored throughout the wide submissions. I have said before that to write a poem is an act of resistance but to then perform it as well is a revolution. It takes a bravery to face the page, and a further one to stand by your words. While we’ve all become more used to filming ourselves over the pandemic, all of us were deeply aware of that courage.

Often when on a judging panel we find ourselves faced with impossible decisions. If you can imagine, after sifting, it’s as though a hundred people have crossed the finish line at precisely the same moment but there are only three medals. How do we come to these decisions? Through the objective unpicking of the poems, through our individual passions, through a consideration of narratives, especially those lesser heard. We come to it through uneasy negotiation and through heart, and above all through our shared love and understanding of the possibilities of poetry.

Our honest applause goes to all who submitted, and I hope you can hear it.

Congratulations to those we selected. We hope to see you all again soon."

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