The quality of poetry in The Blue Nib Chapbook 4 is best summed up by contest judge, Helen Mort.
1st. Pat Anthony – Place and people are inextricably linked in this evocative collection of poems. They bristle with observational details that a less skilful writer might miss – a man pedals night into day, the moon is scrawled with the arpeggios of an accordion player. Each voice here is convincing and urgent. Memorable, exact and compelling.
2nd. Mike Farren – From the first poem in this collection, I was intrigued and hooked by the strange confidence of the work: ‘Antennae’ suggests we should plug antlers from the forest floor to the sides of our heads. The pieces that follow are richly sensory – ‘summer smells of money’, the body is a quarry. Alert and attentive writing, poems suffused with an original language for memory.
3rd. Sharon Flynn – From the first, these poems feel like recipes, full of rich details and imperatives. In one piece, surgery before pain relief is described with a clarity that makes the reader shudder. Visceral and haunting, unabashed and sharply observed, full of found material curated with skill and emotion, which is no mean feat.