“Open and live with silence”

by Nicholas Laughlin on July 21, 2010

Christian CampbellChristian Campbell

The shortlists for the 2010 Forward Prizes for Poetry were announced today. The UK Guardian suggests that

An expected clash between Nobel laureates Seamus Heaney and Derek Walcott on the shortlist for this year’s Forward prize for best poetry collection has been averted, after Walcott’s latest collection failed to make the cut.

(The paper’s correspondent delicately declines to make any link between Walcott’s absence from the list and the fact that this year’s judging panel is chaired by Ruth Padel.)

But the real news for Caribbean readers is that the Bahamian poet Christian Campbell’s Running the Dusk has been shortlisted for the best first collection prize. This is a good time to dip into the CRB archive and re-read Campbell’s poem “Goodman’s Bay”, published more than five years ago in our February 2005 issue:

We run the dusk
at dusk. Everything
is open and live
with silence. All viscera.
God, there is too much
red in the sky . . .

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