dominic fisherweb

Dominic Fisher 
wins Bristol Poetry Prize


Poetry Can are pleased to announce that Bristol poet Dominic Fisher has won the Bristol Poetry Prize 2018.

Judge Helen Ivory said of Dominc's winning poem, Hardware Visitations (after Allen Ginsberg, A Supermarket in California): This poem is written after Ginsberg’s 1955 poem A Supermarket in California, which centres on an encounter with Whitman and Lorca in the supermarket aisles, in a time of flux. Hardware visitations imagines encountering Ginsberg himself, and also Wilfred Owen amid the brackets and fixings of a hardware store in the present day – also a time of questioning and flux. Hardware Visitations works so subtly that before I knew it, I was reading a state-of-the-nations poem, a political poem, a war poem – or moreover a peace poem. That’s the sleight-of-hand I mentioned earlier. The poem uses incongruity, humour and mild trippy-ness to make some very serious points, and seeing kinship in Ginsberg and Owen, wants to invite them to a picnic of wine and fishes: ‘You who fought having written that the sweetness of death by war was a lie / and you who blew dope smoke in the face of war, I wanted to introduce you.’ This poem, I put on my ‘read again’ pile four times, knowing I couldn’t consume it all at one sitting – which is ultimately I think, what I want from a poem.

Second place in the competition was awarded to another Bristol poet, Tom Sastry, with his poem Underground.

Third place was awarded to Wakefield poet Laura Potts for Yesterday's Child.

You can read the winning poems, the full judges report and comments and the highly commended list at Bristol Poetry Prize 2018