Laura Scott – What I Saw
WINNER OF THE 2014 MICHAEL MARKS AWARD FOR POETRY PAMPHLETS
Poetry Award – The judges’ comments.
Laura Scott, for ‘What I Saw’ (The Rialto)
In what was a remarkably strong field, the winning entry kept coming to the top for a number of reasons: the ability to combine thematic coherence with an impressive degree of formal and tonal variety; the way touching personal intimacy broadens imperceptibly into deeper moral seriousness; and the presence of a number of outstanding individual poems. We all agreed that this was a rich, and richly memorable, collection.
‘Laura’s poems seem to have been blown in on a breath of wind and air. A true lyric poet, she knows how to ‘paint light’, how to arrest our fleeting moments of sensation, those images in the corner of our eye, and magnify them so that we feel more sentient, more fully alive. And beyond the lyricism, a supple and questioning intelligence is quietly at work. I love her poems for their freshness, subtlety, and their delicate power to surprise.’
‘Laura Scott’s subtle, haunting poems pierce the surface without strain, and they encapsulate a sense of what is beyond, yet can be vividly glimpsed. Frequently, they astonish with their imaginative leaps, their lightly achieved transcendence:
And for a moment, the father looked up
from his work and was scared by the boy
who could paint God’s light across the water,
the air’s joy at being empty-handed.
Clearly, this pamphlet announces a very valuable new voice.’
Cover illustration by Laura Barnard.