Winner: Best Poetry Book
Costa Judges: "We were all gripped by this polyphonic book-length poem and dazzled by its originality and inventiveness."
This book manages to be both innovative and empathetic. I seriously doubt I will read a more significant book of poetry this year. The finale is truly affecting, a plangent and profound speck of light. Speck, by the way, is the book’s favourite word, and a gloriously ambiguous one – the pilots are specking out, there are specks in the eye, specks of cloud and so forth. Trapped between “dark cacophony” and “all heavenly spirals” it is absolutely about the human. “What need for slime to learn to swim? / to stand? what need to speak?” Every need, I think.