Rosie Shepperd

Rosie Shepperd

Rosie Shepperd's poems have been published on both sides of the Atlantic in The Seminary Ridge Review, Poetry London, Poetry Review, Poetry Wales, New Welsh Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Rialto, Magma, Iota, Smiths Knoll, Bow Wow Shop, The SHOp, The Moth, Interpreter's House, Ambit and Agenda.

She is also featured in the Seren anthology Tokens for the Foundlings and the Hippocrates Anthology 2013.

She was a finalist in the inaugural Manchester Poetry Prize, in the 2010 Cinnamon Press award and the 2010 Templar Pamphlet Prize. She and won second prize in the 2013 Cardiff International Poetry Competition and was shortlisted for the 2013 Forward Prize for best single poem. She won the Ted Walter's/Liverpool University Prize in 2009.

Rosie's pamphlet, That So-Easy Thing, was a winner in the 2011 Book & Pamphlet Competition, chosen by Carol Ann Duffy. Her first full collection The Man At The Corner Table will be published by Seren this June.





'These poems have a real originality both in form and content- from sestina to surrealism, villanelle to vignette- and are erudite, well-travelled, witty and sexy.' — Carol Ann Duffy

'In Rosie Shepperd’s That So-Easy Thing, one of the winners in the Poetry Business Competition, life is like a dream of flying – it is only when you think about it that it becomes impossible. In these poems, the mind fortunately, is always on other things: “With just my own dumb self / for company, the pages are white / and I am cold”. But these breathless, busy dispatches are held together by a sharp wit and firm structural control. The poignant repetitions of an aging parent are safe inside a villanelle, while the repeated line endings of a sestina suggest the unhurried reassurances of a doctor comforting the soon to be bereaved. The mind may wander, but the poet’s eye remains steady.' — The TLS

'The surface textures of Rosie Shepperd's poems are so engaging, with their wit, their sensual appetite, the fluid shifts of the voice, that you could almost overlook their most distinctive quality: a steady lithe intelligence, alert to the slightest nuances, like a fish in a fast-flowing stream.'  — Philip Gross

'Rosie Shepperd's poems unfold with the logic of a well-planned journey to an unmapped land. We take in all the sights, the sounds, the scents — the local dishes — and experience, as things play out, the twin pleasures of inevitability and surprise that are the hallmark of superb poetry — and significant travels. We read these poems to notice things we haven't seen before, and recognise what we didn't know we know.'  — Liane Strauss

'These poems are vibrant, full of flourishes and fluid movement [...] Her work is always restlessly flowing into the next line, the next stanza, the next image or idea. The shape generally reflects an excitement in rhythm or pace which is quite rare in poetry, an energy lifting work off the page.' Antiphon

Read an interview with Rosie (by Pam Johnson) here.


                     WHILE AN EMOTION CANNOT


The chef at Suntory considers sea-bream for (maybe) ten seconds.

                      He selects Yellow-fin with absurd red flesh,

             smiles at the silver scales;

                      the dark lines on her back

                                 smile back.


You’re late and I flick through The Trib, spy a piece on fish scales.

           They grow flat, only on skin;

                      in the lab they form prisms.

                                 Beyond any meaningful depth,

           3D is unnecessary and unhelpful.


It’s gone again, that so-easy thing we had for each other.


Unwrapping chopsticks takes forever. I reach for the gold hoshi oki,

                       you lean yours against your plate,

         watch as a sous-chef with extraordinary hands

                                          mixes fine green wasabi with Tokusen;

                    folds shavings of pink ginger into tiny glazed bowls.


           Strangers sit opposite us and next to us, and we incline our heads

                      together and at each other, bound by this thing,

this art form we’re watching. Water chestnuts become flowers, strips

             of squid are stencilled, fanned into a helix of white,

                                    thrown into clouds of sesame.


              Don’t worry; the toughest question is not aimed at you.



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