In anticipation of the call for entries countdown for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award on 31 August, we provide an insight into the winning writers selected for the latest prize. Writer of shortlisted poem Tumbleweed (After Edward Hopper & Hart Crane), Bob Beagrie lives in Middlesbrough, UK, and is a senior lecturer in creative writing at Teesside University. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies, journals and magazines and has been translated into Finnish, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Karelian, Estonian, Urdu and Swedish.
Recent publications include Yoik (Cinnamon Press, 2008), The Seer Sung Husband (Smokestack Press, 2010), Glass Characters (Red Squirrel Press, 2011) and KIDS with Andy Willoughby (Mudfog, 2012). Forthcoming publications are: SAMPO: Heading Further North written with Andy Willoughby (Red Squirrel Press, 2015) and Leasungspell (Smokestack Books, 2016).
Bob Beagrie, Tumbleweed (After Edward Hopper & Hart Crane)
Like her, we make our tentative calculations
Based on the wireless weather forecasts;
Rain on the window, bullets from tommy-guns
Fired in some vintage gangster movie.
For we can still feel the threads of family,
Of home, the drone of telegraph lines
Across the prairie and the trail of tears,
The wall clock ticks, the radiator hums
Through emptied caverns of bus stations
Close to midnight, this fugitive goumada
Sweetens her fifth espresso
And clocks the headlights in the lot.
Like her, we finger what’s left of the wad
To delay the doom of the inevitable burn –
The hammer’s click, the barrel’s swivel,
Crow calls through falling leaves,
The slice of a spade in soil.
And yet the quiet stillness of the automat,
The swirl of undissolved cream
Suspends, for now, the weight of Omertá,
Grief that comes with a game called vendetta.
Like her, who fidgets with her spoon,
Framed by the surge of a dark window
A highway of lamps leading away
We prepare to change one alias for next,
On a pulp novel quest through the wilderness.
Enter the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award at www.aestheticamagazine.com/creativewriting. Entry is £10 and permits the submission of two works into one category. Submissions close 31 August 2014.
Prizes include publication; a consultation with a fiction agency and a poetry organisation; £500 prize money for each category winner; a selection of books courtesy of Vintage and Bloodaxe Books, and a subscription to Granta.
1. Copyright by Moyan Brenn.
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Posted on 23 July 2014