#2: Our Daily Bread

Guest Editor: Richard O'Brien

I’ve shamelessly lifted the title of this issue from a poem by Adham Smart. It seemed to fit, because a lot of the work I’ve chosen from the submissions of Poetry Society Youth Members discussed daily situations in unusual ways, or normal lives taking unusual twists.

Anthony Adler’s ‘Genocide in Green’ is a case in point; Adler takes the innocuous, everyday action of mowing a suburban lawn and casts it as a mission of destruction. Likewise, James Coghill discusses in plain, uncluttered English the plotting of car crashes onto a map of Britain, and in a powerful last stanza snaps his focus from factual reporting and statistics to the human terror of the crashes themselves, in broken gasping detail.

Not all the poems can be shoehorned into this theme, of course, but I hope that between them they give a taste of the range and variety of emerging talent among Britain’s poetic youth. 

Richard O'Brien

Read here about how Richard's passion for poetry began.


Two poems by Richard O'Brien

Anthony Adler
Genocide in Green

James Coghill:
SunsCar Crash Geography


Adham Smart:
ImperialBreaking the Bread

Rebekah Vince:

Abigail White:

Laura Carr :
Vals Poético & Battleships & "You handled me like meat"

Joe Bakes:
If you love me, nay, if you even like me,

     where are you now?

Zhengxun Hee:
death by sea



These poems were recorded and selected by the Poetry Society at a gathering of current and former Youth Members in the Poetry Café, April 2008.

Amy Blakemore:
The Hypocrite & The Virgin of Guadalupe & Good Friday


Gloria Dawson:
New Tactics for Old Wars & Flickr Townships


Anthony Adler
Written on a train at night, admiring the view



Richard O'Brien
The Splinter Factory by Jeffrey McDaniel

"...he thrives on the use of brash, startling comparisons, leaping across semantic divisions to throw out firecracker similes like ‘eyes bright as a Kennedy’s future’ and ‘my tongue is a dolphin passed out in a elevator'..."





We hope you've enjoyed reading. If you'd like to send us material for future issues, you can email poems, articles, mp3s of you reading your poems, or send your writing by post to:

Youth Membership Pages
Poetry Society
22 Betterton Street

In this issue


The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is Britain's most prestigious poetry prize for young writers between the ages of 11-17. Each year we look for a hundred of the best young poets in the UK and beyond, as well as some of the most active poetry schools with special prizes for both 11-14 and 15-17 year olds. The closing date each year is 31st July.

Slambassadors is the only UK professional development online slam and is open to 12-18 year olds across the UK. If you’re keen to develop your writing and stage skills, this is the competition for you.