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Magnus Dixon

Force Ten

“Some trees blown down, damage to buildings, high churning white sea.”
      “They’re white horses,” you said,
as they cantered with manes of salt,
tossing their hooves in the breeze.
But tonight, I think, they are wolves.
Their rhythm gone under the wind,
howls shatter on sea-stained rocks
and I want to scream too – a long scream,
leaving me as dizzy as the spray,
cold sweat on strands of polypropylene –
urban wrack sheared from the bough
of a trawler, its iron lungs gasping
through surging wraths of storm.
In this light I believe old tales,
told by seamen in hazes of memory:
hyperbole clinging like barnacles
to old stories of the Leviathan,
its weary eyes like lanterns,
every sinew a log of ancient oak.
They wouldn’t feel it,
safe, cocooned in deep sea.
Safe, in nests of kelp and currents,
whilst at sea level dune-grass bows,
heaving a sodden surrender
and my notebook bleeds waterlogged graphite
as white wolves howl.

Magnus Dixon was one of the top 15 Foyle Young Poets of the Year winners last year - the world's largest prize for young writers. This year's prize has just launched and on the search for the finest new writers aged 11-17.

Deadline for entries is the 31st July 2015 - enter online and find out more!



Poetry Society Events ** NO LONGER UPDATED

Events Calendar>

First World War Centenary

The Poetry Society's programme of events, resources and collaborations marking the centenary of the First World War. Plus a small selection of First World War poetry.

Café current show

Sketches from the Poem Road,
2 Mar - 25 Apr 2015

Canal Laureate News

Visit the Waterlines website

Four canal-themed filmpoems by poets Jo Bell, Liz Berry, Ian Duhig and Ian McMillan, produced by Alastair Cook and in partnership with The Canal & River Trust


Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition winners: PS member Paul Stephenson, plus Basil du Toit, David Tait, & Luke Samuel Yates. PS Member Keith Hutson 3rd in Yorkshire Poetry Prize for best single poem

Jennifer Moxley wins PSA William Carlos Williams Award for best poetry collection

Oksana Maksymchuk & Max Rosochinsky win the Stephen Spender Prize for translation

Forward Prize judges announced: AL Kennedy, Colette Bryce, Carrie Etter, Warsan Shire & Emma Harding

CONGRATULATIONS PS Members Robin Houghton & Emily Wills 2nd & 3rd in Plough Poetry Prize won by John Foggin

TS Eliot Foundation buys poet's Gloucester summer home

National Book Critics Circle awards: poetry prize goes to Claudia Rankine’s 'Citizen: An American Lyric'

Brunel University African Poetry Prize shortlist includes PS Member Nick Makoha, plus Safia Elhillo, Inua Ellams, Bernard Matambo, Ngwatilo Mawiyoo, Hope Wabuke

Kamau Braithwaite wins Poetry Society of America's Frost Medal for lifetime achievement

Tony Harrison wins the £40k David Cohen Prize for Literature

PS Member Joan Michelson wins Bristol Poetry Prize. Bethany Pope 2nd, Mallory Tater 3rd. PS members David C Johnson, Ama Bolton, Jean Atkin, and Geraldine Clarkson Highly Commended

PS Member Claudia Daventry is inaugural winner of the Ruskin Prize for Poetry

Get Creative campaign hopes to unleash the artist inside Britons  

Creativity and culture not open to all, review finds

Philip Levine, former US poet laureate and Pulitzer winner, dies at 87

Martin Green, PS member and co-author of Guide to London Pubs, dies

Rod McKuen, poet and lyricist with vast following, dies at 81

PS Member Rachel McCarthy chosen by Carol Ann Duffy as one of the most exciting new British poets

Hollie McNish wins 2015 Arts Foundation Spoken Word Prize

2015 Ted Slade Award goes to Ronnie Goodyer and Dawn Bauling of Indigo Dreams

PS Member Usha Kishore is the winner of Exiled Writers Ink Poetry Competition

Poetry Society member Stephen Keeler receives £2000 Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award

Angela Readman wins £2000 Charles Causley Poetry Comp. PS Members Jo Haslam, Andrew Rudd 2nd & 3rd. PS Members Victor Tapner & Tania Hershman among the commended.

PS Member Jonathan Davidson wins Cafe Writers Open Poetry Competition, Jo Bell 2nd, Polly Atkin 3rd. PS Member Geraldine Clarkson wins Funniest Poem, PS Members Martyn Crucefix, Lindsey Holland and Di Slaney among commended poets

PS Member success in Cinnamon Press Single Poem Competition. Wendy Klein wins, Jane McLaughlin is joint runner-up, KS Skene highly commended, Nicola Warwick commended

David Harsent wins £20,000 TS Eliot Prize for 'Fire Songs'

PS member Jonathan Edwards wins the £5000 Costa Poetry Prize

We're 'over the moon' to hear that Imtiaz Dharker has been awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry

Inua Ellams wins £1000 Live Canon poetry competition

Dylan Thomas' notebook sold for £104k

War poet Isaac Rosenberg recognised in archive footage from the trenches

Poet and long-standing Poetry Society member Susan Grindley has died

PS Member Mara Bergman wins Mslexia Poetry Pamphlet competiton. PS Members Barbara Cumbers, Kathrine Sowerby commended, with Marjorie Lotfi Gill

Claudia Emerson, Pulitzer-winning poet, dies at 57

Rob Auton, Jemima Foxtrot, Sabrina Mahfouz, Hollie McNish & Ross Sutherland shortlisted for Arts Foundation Fellowship award for spoken word

Dan O’Brien wins Troubadour International Poetry Prize

Bloodaxe anthology to be added to mass giveaway on 2015 World Book Night

Mark Strand, former US poet laureate & Pulitzer Prize winner, dies at 80

Poetry Society Member Kathleen Bainbridge 2nd in Flambard Poetry Prize. Alice Allen wins 1st prize.

Pascale Petit, Wendy Cope and Lachlan Mackinnon appointed as Gladstone's Library writers in residence

Michael Marks Award winners: Laura Scott for best poetry pamphlet and Rack Press win publisher award 

We are sad to learn of the death of Jon Stallworthy, one of the country's most admired poets

Louise Glück wins National Book Award for 'Faithful and Virtuous Night'

Colette Bryce, Jonathan Edwards, Lavinia Greenlaw & Kei Miller on Costa Poetry shortlist

Clean sweep for PS Members in Torbay Poetry Competition. Carole Bromley wins, Char March 2nd, Ann Pilling and Paul Stephenson joint 3rd. PS Members Andrew Geary, Josh Ekroy, Denise McSheehy and Katherine Gallagher highly commended

Lost Dylan Thomas notebook may cast light on most impenetrable poems

Alexander Hutchison wins Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the Year, Niall Campbell wins First Book of the Year award

Helen Mort wins the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize

PS Member Jonathan Edwards wins Ledbury Poetry Prize. Jacqueline Saphra 2nd, Laura Seymour 3rd. Foyle Young Poet Isla Anderson wins Young Person Prize

Tragic death of poet Anne Cluysenaar

Ian Galbraith wins Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation 

Galway Kinnell, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner, dies aged 87

Fran Lock wins Ambit Competition. PS Members Geraldine Clarkson & Catherine Ayres 2nd and 3rd

Poetry Society member Mona Arshi is joint winner of the Manchester Poetry Prize with Michael Hudson

Bridport Poetry Prize won by Poetry Society member Natalya Anderson. Tori Sharpe and Jo Bell 2nd & 3rd. PS Members Alan Buckley, Florence Cox, Jane Dunn, Val Ormrod among highly commended

TS Eliot shortlist: Fiona Benson, John Burnside, Louise Glück, David Harsent, Michael Longley, Ruth Padel, Pascale Petit, Kevin Powers, Arundhathi Subramaniam, Hugo Williams

PS member Rachel Davies wins Wells Festival of Literature Poetry Prize & PS member Carole Bromley 2nd

PS Member Pru Kitching is joint winner of Carers UK Poetry Comp, with Beth McDonough. PS Members Valerie Fry and Marilyn Hammick among the runners-up 

John Moat, co-founder of Arvon, dies

Aisling Fahey appointed as new Young Poet Laureate for London

Kei Miller wins Forward Prize for best collection, Liz Berry wins best first collection prize, Steven Santus wins best single poem prize

Dannie Abse, Welsh poet and author, dies aged 91

PS Member Polly Atkin wins Wigtown Poetry Prize

US National Book Award longlist announced

NEXT GENERATION of poets announced by Poetry Book Society: Tara Bergin, Emily Berry, Sean Borodale, Adam Foulds, Annie Freud, Alan Gillis, Rebecca Goss, Jen Hadfield, Emma Jones, Luke Kennard, Melissa Lee-Houghton, Hannah Lowe, Kei Miller, Helen Mort, Daljit Nagra, Heather Phillipson, Kate Tempest, Mark Waldron, Sam Willetts, Jane Yeh

Young Poet Laureate for London shortlist includes PS Members Clare Mulley and Ella Frears, SLAMbassador Aisling Fahey, plus Laurie Bolger, Rachel Long, and Deborah Stevenson

PS Members Anne Stewart & Dorothy Yamamoto 1st and 2nd in Poetry on the Lake open category. Virginia Astley wins sonnet category

Winifred Dawson obituary - Librarian who inspired five of Larkin's poems

Desmond O'Grady, 'a great citizen of world poetry', dies

Robert Hass wins $100k lifetime achievement award

Wasafiri poetry shortlist includes PS members, Ann Kaiser, Mark Fiddes, and Pnina Shinebourne

William Bedford wins The London Magazine's Poetry Competition

William Bedford wins Roundel Poetry Competition. PS member Geraldine Paine 2nd, John Arnold 3rd

New Seamus Heaney anthology includes unseen poem In Time, written for his granddaughter

Simin Behbahani, 'Iran's most famous poet', has died at the age of 87

Niall Campbell wins £20k Edwin Morgan prize

It's 1.2.3 for PS members Maria Jastrzᶒbska, Gill Learner & Elsa Fischer in Grey Hen Poetry Prize

Second Light Poetry Comp: Kate Foley (1st, long poem), Margaret Beston (1st, short poem), Pippa Little (2nd) & Ann Alexander (3rd)

Poet Roddy Lumsden and crime-writer Val McDermid win the Round Britain Quiz