Wristwatch, Jay Whittaker

The unexpected vicissitudes of human life are grafted into the natural world – animate and inanimate – in a series of succinct poems, creating a deeply personal and moving collection. The poems are alert and humane, even humorous when least expected. For a first collection this is a very assured, mature and coherent piece of work.


Who Is Mary Sue?, Sophie Collins

This exquisite debut collection scrutinizes our assumptions about the ‘voice’ of a poem. Skillfully tessellating prose quotations with fierce glimpses of strength (women, ‘soot in their hair’), and uncannily enlivening inanimate objects, Collins’s precise poetic structures beautifully and subtly probe the politics of recognition and obfuscation that haunt women’s histories, both religious and secular.

Bantam, Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay’s Bantam is a collection of personal discovery and public commissions. Kay traverses the map of the human heart like a pathfinder for compassion and courage. Old and new, familiar and unfamiliar acquaintances intersect in places shaped by the lore of the past, present and future.

So Glad I Am Me, Roddy Lumsden

Roddy Lumsden’s poetry takes a personal and occasionally melancholic tone, as he invokes memory, sensation, relationships, love and music (always music) in a flux of friends, memories, late nights, old tunes and the unexpected and tender collisions that define who we are and make the world around us what it is. This is a collection full of linguistic energy, density, surprise and delight.

The Long Take, Robin Robertson

Painstakingly researched and technically innovative, The Long Take tells the story of Walker, a traumatised veteran of WW2. At once lyrical and gritty, this capacious, genre-bending portrait of mid-20th Century America – a stark paean to those Hollywood left behind – uncovers disturbing parallels between boom-time ‘peace’ and the horrors of war.