Katy Darby, a novelist and accomplished short-story writer, has proven her lyric prowess as well by winning Shooter’s 2019 Poetry Competition.
Darby, founder of live fiction event Liars’ League in London, said she composed the winning poem, “Duct tape, milk, shilling, towels”, in a Hackney pub during a Sylvia Plath-themed event hosted by Poetry Brothel London. Darby’s evocative poem conjures the poet’s preparations for her notorious demise.
Although in recent years Darby has focused more on prose (with her novel, The Unpierced Heart, published by Penguin), she has previously won the Frogmore Poetry Prize and the New Writer Poetry Collection Competition. She has an MA in Creative Writing (Prose) from the University of East Anglia.
Shooter’s runner-up in the poetry competition, Nikki Robson, crafted a well observed and resonant poem, “Strix aluco”, inspired by a tawny owl. Robson (a previous contributor to Shooter with a pair of poems in issue #5, the Cities edition) has previously won first prize in the Elbow Room competition and been highly commended at Wigtown and Carers UK. She holds an MLitt in Writing Practice and Study from Dundee University, and her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies including Acumen, Under the Radar, The Lake, and Scotia Extremis. She is from Northern Ireland and lives in Scotland.
Both poems are available to read on Shooter’s Competition Winners page, and Darby’s winning poem will also appear in the forthcoming Supernatural issue, out next month. Huge congratulations to both poets for their compelling work!