Scarlett Ward is an incredible young West Midlands poet as comfortable on the page as in performance, with a real ear for language and an imagination to match. Her debut collection, created with help and advice from Liz Berrry and others, doesn’t disappoint, as it takes its Insta-concerns (Scarlett has 10k+ followers) of depression, insecurity, mental ill-health and the deep and powerful ache of a love found, and turns them in to quite startling poetry -at times as light as petals, at others as heavy and violent as a hob nail boot. Read, gasp, enjoy.
“ache is a breathtaking collection of healing and rebirth. Scarlett writes in away that makes me want to live more deeply” – Chloe Frayne.
Scarlett’s work has recently featured in anthologies from Hedgehog Poetry, Fishbowl Publishing and Fly on the Wall Press. Her poem, X, featured inside, was included in the first Verve Poetry Press Anthology, Wild Dreams and Louder Voices – The Poetry Jam Anthology edited by Anisa Haghdadi. Her poem Culling Season, also included here and featured below, was short-listed in the Verve Poetry Festival Competition on theme of Community judged by Joelle Taylor and features in the accompanying anthology Closed Gates and Open Arms. Ache is a Verve Poetry Press bestselling title.
Sample Poem: Culling season
Somewhere in a town that is best known
for how deep it has dug beneath itself,
where the addresses are earthy like “May Dene” and “Old Fallow”,
and roads fling themselves lethargically around woodland bends,
a pot hole rips the gut out of an exhaust on an accelerating Ford
with all the viciousness of antlers on bark. After all, it is rutting season,
and it’s all I can think of lately; feuding stags butting skulls,
concrete tearing out metal piping,
and the way my neighbour boasted to me this morning
of the fawn he shot through the eye socket
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