Annal: 2001 Whitbread Book Award for Poetry

Results of the Whitbread Book Award in the year 2001.



Selima Hill

Selima Hill’s Bunny is set in the haunted house of adolescence. Always blackly comic, sometimes beguilingly erotic, each echoing poem opens a door on madness or menace, shame or blame. Bunny tells the intimate story of a young girl growing up in London in the 1950s, confused and betrayed but finding herself, becoming independent.

Appearances are always deceptive. That predatory lodger. The animals outside and within. The girl sectioned in the hospital, nursing her sense of wrong. The blueness of things. The fire.

What the house contains, it cannot hide. The poems reveal not only what was papered over but what she learned. About how to be a woman. How to be loved. And what happens to innocence.

Book:The Age of Cardboard and String

The Age of Cardboard and String

Charles Boyle

A number of poems in this new collection take their cue from Stendhal, whose characteristic blend of artfulness and candour—particularly evident in his unreliable memoirs—is sustained throughout the book. In material ranging form intimate narratives to social commentary. Boyle takes self-deception, mixed motives and honest misunderstandings as the norms of human behaviour, and delights in the comedy of errors that results.

Book:If I Don't Know

If I Don't Know

Wendy Cope

This collection of poems from Wendy Cope reveals a softer lyrical voice, also present in her earlier books, but here given more room to develop in poems about gardens and contentment, and the poignancy of having something to lose.

Book:Panoramic Lounge-Bar

Panoramic Lounge-Bar

John Stammers

A collection of poems displaying the details of contemporary life. Love scenes are laced with irony, irrelevant vampires live out their days on the sea front at Eastbourne and flowers have “fine pointed petals like scapels”.

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