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Jane Holland - Warwick Poet Laureate for 07/08

Jane Holland - Warwick Poet Laureate

New Warwick Poet Laureate announced

Warwick Words 2007 have announced that Jane Holland will be the new Warwick Poet Laureate for 2007/2008.

Jane was awarded her new role at the launch of the Warwick Words Festival on 3 October. She will be hold the honorary position of Poet Laureate for a year, during which time she will attend events and write poetry about Warwickshire.

Jane, who hails from Rugby, said: "I'm absolutely delighted to be the new Warwick Poet Laureate. I hope to make this a truly memorable year for poetry in and around Warwick, and am looking forward to working with other local poets and arts officials on some exciting new projects."

We have put a couple of the poems that won Jane her title below for you to enjoy:

Builders - By Jane Holland

Another one goes higher, climbing up that ladder
like a monkey: screwdriver, hammer, wrench
tucked neatly in his belt. His mates follow,
leaving their cloudy fingerprints
on plate-glass. This is their world,
high above our ant-eye level.
We scuttle underneath with cups of tea,
leave them steaming on planks
or pass them through open windows.

They lean against the scaffolding
at half past ten, unhurried, rolling smokes.
Later, the backs of their necks will redden
as they pull the flashing from the roof
(the youngest often stripping to the waist).
The sun is in my eyes; refracting light
into a fleet of curving poles,
this structure almost seems to bend,
a tree-house circumnavigating stone.

I watch them come first thing, unload their van
and swing up into clouds.
Each day we hear them through our walls
like mice in the skirting-boards
or scratching at the roof, bird claws
hooking onto lead. Their voices rumble
in the chimney-breast, hammer us
a slant of sky through glass
until we’re living under occupation.

Daddy-Long-Legs - By Jane Holland

Mid-September, and crane flies
are everywhere, haunting my kitchen
with delicate legs splayed
like a parachutist’s, gripping air.

Soon my house is alive with shadows, black
under the bulb’s glare. These
are the terrifying Daddy-Long-Legs
of my childhood, an insect
straight out of the mind’s dark spaces,
insubstantial bodies
caught in my hair, delirious in flight
against the light’s tremor
or perched long-legged on a white wall,
tiny Buddhas deep in prayer.

I fasten windows, lock all the doors,
yet still that pitched flight,
vibrato of wings, stays audible
until, quite suddenly, October thickens
and they disappear.

last updated: 18/04/2008 at 10:52
created: 15/10/2007

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