Miscellaneous

Sarah Howe, judge of the Winchester Poetry Prize 2017 on ‘Gravid’: ‘a magic-eye illusion offering two poems in one […] it playfully embeds one set of bold-typeface lines within the footprint of another, both readable at different levels. Beautifully innovative and achieved, it is the work of a poet to be watched.

Liz Berry, judge of Cafe Writers’ Competition 2017, on ‘Juno’s Augury’: ‘dark and densely wrought, this poem uses a clever woven form in which the reader can find three different poems, three different versions, which wind in and out of each other in a fascinating choiric structure. It opens with the compelling “I dream there’s a black spot on her heart: a storm with thousand-mile-an-hour winds rotating from her atria” and immediately we are hooked. The poem is full of powerful symbolism, a great deal of mystery and a brilliant sense of the unsettling. A poet I wanted to read more of.’

Many Pannett, judge of The Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition 2016, on ‘A Small-holding in the Fens’: ‘this is a beautifully crafted poem with strong vivid images. One of my favourites is the pike that was “so huge, it had to shunt back and forth/at the river’s mouth in order to turn.’

Clare Best, judge of The Ouse Washes Competition 2016, on ‘Anguilla Anguilla’: I enjoyed the boldness and physicality of this poem and its form, quite apart from the insights it offers into river and eel life. The sound world is gorgeous and surprising, the images work hard, and hooray for the skilled and economical use of descriptors.

Maura Dooley & Heidi Williamson, co-judges of the Inspired by Film Competition 2016, on ‘Nadezhda’: In this fluent, haunting poem the reader is taken straight into another and particular world, a world where beauty exists even amongst poverty and difficulty.  The location Gornostaypol is perhaps near Chernobyl and certainly the sense of a vanished life in all its lost sweetness is caught precisely in this poem.

‘A committed and hard-working writer, Elisabeth Sennitt Clough has an ability to draw her readers close. Many of her poems explore the territory of the domestic, but you will not find anything benign or cosy here. Sennitt Clough makes us look at things, not always comfortable things, using language that startles and excites, and we are always left knowing a little more’ – Rebecca Goss

‘A vivid, haunting poem’ – Alan Kellermann, judge of PENfro Poetry Competition, 2014, on ‘Divining Her Firstborn.’

‘Elisabeth Sennitt Clough writes deftly, thoughtfully, and with a fine ear for sound. She is a keen people-watcher: the small details noted in her poems make them sparkle with colour and linger in the memory’ – Claire Askew

‘Allusive and evocative’ – Susan Castillo Street discussing ‘Mother’s Day Portrait.’

‘Elisabeth Sennitt Clough’s poems carve landscapes out of language. Her writing is as precise as the idiom of an intimacy overheard and as light as what cannot quite be grasped’ – Nikolai Duffy

‘When I had the good luck to meet Elisabeth Sennitt Clough at Arvon recently, I found a poet of deeply-read intensity taking on a great range of material, some very difficult, to make work of real power, managed by considerable technical expertise. The results are touching, and intellectually engaging, moving and beautiful’ – Ian Duhig

‘Beauty and risk partner together in this extraordinary new voice. Sennitt Clough is a skillful poet who has an ability to lure you into an often dark and unsettling world and quietly …abduct you’ – Mona Arshi

‘The ‘Glass’ of the title is transformed – to the reflective surfaces of ponds, to glass collars and patio doors. The poems explore both how we ‘see’ things, and how we are seen, from the way a stepdad looks at the women on Page 3 to the many eyes of a peacock’s tail. Delicate yet tough, and with precise and exact language, the poet looks unflinchingly at darkness and violence’. – Kim Moore