A big win for Rosie Jackson; ‘Light, love and quite a bit of kissing’

June 8th, 2017 § 0 comments

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We are delighted to announce that Rosie Jackson’s poem ‘The Heaven that Runs through Everything’ won the 1st prize of £2,500 in the Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition 2017. The poem can be read on Rosie Jackson’s website.  Rosie has also been awarded 3rd prize in the Hippocrates Open competition for her poem  ‘A Ward Sister Remembers the Spencers’.

The lives and art of Stanley Spencer and Hilda Carline, Spencer’s first wife, have proved a rich seam for Rosie Jackson’s poetry, as Graham Burchell remarks in his review of The Light Box on Ink Sweat and Tears. 

There’s also wonderfully rendered ekphrasis, with particular emphasis on the work of British artist Stanley Spencer to begin each of the six sections, and the collection ends on a high note with an angle on one of Spencer’s Resurrection paintings with ‘bodies that cannot have enough of each other,/ this love that is always being made.’

Many other artists provide inspiration for Rosie Jackson’s poems in The Light Box, and other figures such as Margaret Thatcher feature:

Other characters are placed in unlikely settings or considered in suprising ways: Mrs Thatcher leaves her body and meets St Francis, Demeter takes up embroidery and Persephone blames the dress, but these are effective routes to exploring and keenly observing. We see Mrs Thatcher, her mind uncoupled, rising up from her sceptered isle, becoming unsettled, ‘till the light feels more like darkness,/ coal dust,’. So much depends (not on a red wheelbarrow), but­ on the richness and the weaving of Rosie Jackson’s own myths and inventions.

Burchell ends his review:

Stanley Spencer said he wanted to put himself in his work, and as an obvious enthusiast for this twentieth century artist’s life and paintings, Rosie Jackson likewise puts herself into her poems. They are deft, have a strong voice, and if reading extraordinarily good poems full of light, love and quite a bit of kissing, appeals, then ‘The Light Box’ comes highly recommended.

A glowing review of The Light Box appears in Poetry Salzburg Review. Speaking of the final poem in the collection, ‘Resurrection’, Danielle Hope writes:

The poem is an exemplar of the haunting yet light touch of Jackson’s writing. I started reading and couldn’t stop. She has a gift of turning the ordinary into enchantment with her writing. Her poem made me look again at Spencer’s painting. The allotments, gardens, “lamps pooling light over dinner” arise in Jackson’s writing, making everyday living suddenly an incredible and exciting gift.

You can buy The Light Box by Rosie Jackson for £10 plus p&p. Please support our small press by buying direct from Cultured Llama.

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