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Derwent Poetry Festival 2011

Derwent Poetry FestivalI’m excited to be reading at the fifth Derwent Poetry Festival in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, 11th-13th November.  My collection ‘Paper Bullets’ was a runner up in the Templar Pamphlet Competition, so some of my poems will be published in Templar’s annual anthology, Bliss.  The festival includes both new and more established Templar poets, including guest reader Mimi Khalvati.  Here’s one of the poems I’ll be reading:

Peach Orchard

In his leaf-curl hand
he writes root stock numbers
dates and heights of trees,
the gross of summer crops.
Some days he traces ridge-veined drupes
onto the pale lines of his ledger.

There are ghosts in the orchard
they drift between trees
their hair a tangled sweet pea vine,
as if death winnowed them.

He draws their drowned shapes,
dropsical,
notes the colours of their clothes,
the way their shadows
rise some evenings from the roots
and beg for water.