Annemarie Austin was born in Devon and grew up on the Somerset Levels and in Weston-super-Mare, where has lived for most of her life.
She won the Cheltenham Literature Festival Poetry Competition in 1980, and her first collection, The Weather Coming (1987) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Very: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2008) includes work from all her collections, including On the Border (1993), The Flaying of Marsyas (1995), Door upon Door (1999) and Back from the Moon (2003).
Debatable Land was published by Smith/Doorstop in 2002.
‘He will surely violently turn and toss thee like a ball into a larger country.’
It was three days before the dead rabbit changed much.
Then two red wounds appeared,
one at the throat, one where leg meets belly,
and a rip of fur went with the liver
onto the path.
I passed and passed again.
Next morning, nothing left but
five stamp-sized bits of skin with fluff
I couldn’t bear that that grey heron
should stand on a concrete island
in the midst of the Barbican lake
and call. Tall building all around it
like a hand which had trapped a moth and now
Daddy, this is really about you
as everything is these days
beyond the hospital, where you wander
away down the corridors, and sometimes
Then police telephone
to check your address – even before the nurses
appear to have missed you.
— From Debatable Land