My sister has been shortlisted for the 2012 Keats Shelley Poetry Prize. Now, this is good and exciting and yay for a number of reasons, not least: 320 people entered, and Simon bloody Armitage won it in 2010.
But chief among them, is the fact that this is a poetry competition for people in the habit of writing ROMANTIC poetry. Surely an underloved and noble art, and so naturally this news has provoked an irrational and ungentlewomanlike response in me. Because essentially for the last week I have been all like BOO YA OTHER POETRY FOLK and MY SISTER KICKS ASS.
Naturally, this is the part of this blog post where I should write nice things and congratulate all the other entrants and nominees - and I do want to do that, because they are all supremely talented coves. But if I am honest, the main thing I want to say is MY SISTER WROTE ABOUT H. RIDER HAGGARD AND GOT NOMMED FOR A PRIZE THAT BLOODY SIMON ARMITAGE WON IN TWENNY TEN. Let me not be too embarrassed, let me be unselfaware enough to say: Sarah Roby is a fine fucking writer.
I would post Sarah’s poem, H. Rider Haggard’s Bare-Knuckle Wrestle with Time-on-his-Hands here, but the poetic life is a peasanty one - and I suspect she will put it in a collection when the time is right. I might also traditionally use this opportunity to point in the general direction of Sarah’s website, or link to her tWtTr fEeD. But like all the best people I know, Sarah does not feel it necessary to document every facet of her life for the benefit of ‘the internet’ and does not feel duty bound to communicate the exact location of her quinoa salad, at all times, just in case the sky falls in. I mean, I do not claim to speak for her, but I from what I can gather she - perhaps wisely - believes that the internet is not the single most important thing in the world. And that the most exciting things happen off of it. Like, for example, writing a romantic poem about H. Rider Haggard.
Love you, Sarah.