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Latest Poem
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            [post_date] => 2016-10-10 15:09:25
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            [post_content] => My war can fit within the rotation of a minute hand.
Between 6:59 and 7:00pm, news bulletins in Times New Roman,
Another town with a name you cannot pronounce is known and lost
simultaneously. You have time to glance up from your dinner,
Look to your front door; check the outside is still locked out,
Say: Thank God. My war is erased by pressing a button.
It exists on the other channel, or on dull Tuesday afternoons
where the bluebottles swarm their reflections in windows,
Get crushed by volumes of literary poetry and – thank God –
the bell rings. My war is trapped in front covers and fly wings.
My war is on tour buses, in fields all scoured with red,
(we all know how well flowers bloom from the dead)
I pinned a poppy to my car bonnet, left it to bleed in the sun,
until all the blood had run, until all the colour had gone,
until it was white as vacant skin – the colour of peace.
My war is on pay slips, in five pounds a month to some charity
off building houses or commemorating bodies. Here:
have my illegible signature, my languid name. Stamped.
Approved. My war comes out of the post office
and in through the letterbox, my sympathy fits 12 inches by 2,
(the rest of the door is locked tight thank god thank god)
Here are some more faces that travelled from doormat to bin.
My war stays on street corners, in bedraggled protest signs,
Small change occasionally gifted, dropped in my peripheral vision,
(we all know eye contact cannot, must not be given)
My war is dust that occasionally comes drifting through,
People dissolved into air, into beautiful nothing in locked rooms
(you did remember to turn the key – did you, did you?)
My war is in my pocket: Update–Hashtag–NEWS FLASH.
Somewhere inconceivable, people are turning to ash.
My war is when I take your hand and hold it on the bus.
(thankgodthankgodthankgod it wasn’t us)
            [post_title] => My War
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                    [wpcf-summary-description] => This poem is the 1st prize winner in the  Timothy Corsellis Prize 2016  on Young Poets Network (YPN), judged by Wendy Cope, Fran Brearton, Nic Vanderpeet and Judith Palmer.

Judge Fran Brearton said of this poem:

"It addresses some complex subjects: what guilt or otherwise one might feel for ‘thankgod it wasn’t us’; some acknowledgement of how social media has changed the way in which the self is oriented in a global context. It is brutal in its exposé of a more privileged life: ‘faces that travelled from doormat to bin’. Without ever indicting directly the context in which ‘my war’ takes place, the poem nevertheless deals a blow as devastating in its different ways as some of those dealt by the war poets. In its insistence on ‘My War’, the reiterated ‘my’ both knows the difference from ‘their’ war, and acknowledges the paradox at the heart of war poetry too – that suffering is poetic capital – ‘stamped / approved’. It has, without self-consciousness, numerous intertextual allusions to the war poets; but these are lightly carried, and it has its own distinctive idiom too, rather than borrowing that of others, from a tight and arresting opening line, to the handling of ‘update – hashtag –newsflash’ and people ‘turning to ash’. It’s a poem that employs repetition, internal rhyme and monosyllables to powerful effect. In the end, ‘My war’ is everywhere as much as it is nowhere, the suffering of ‘elsewhere’ brought to powerful presence by its reiterated absence in the everydayness of my war as no war at all."
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                    [wpcf-poem-award] => 1st prize winner, Timothy Corsellis Prize 2016
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            [poet_data] => stdClass Object
                    [ID] => 17073
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                    [title] => Amy Wolstenholme
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                    [content] => Amy is the 1st prize winner in the Timothy Corsellis Prize 2016 on Young Poets Network. She is also a winner in the Ways to be Wilder Poetry Challenge, in association with People Need Nature.


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My War

by Amy Wolstenholme

1st prize winner, Timothy Corsellis Prize 2016