'Song of my auntie' was commended in the 2020 National Poetry Competition.

From the judges: "A wondrously musical, anaphoric poem and paean to a beloved relative, the often forgotten aunt. It also celebrates a time that has almost but not quite passed into the realms of history, making it a work of restoration that is witty and full of poignant grace.”

Song of my auntie

by Susannah Hart

o auntie of the Kodak Christmases
my auntie of the bread and Marmite rosehip syrup teas
o auntie who told me at twelve I had childbearing hips
auntie whose own hips bore so many children
my five red-headed cousins
o auntie only sister of your dead brother
my little shrinking auntie my tiny auntie with her hair all white
my pocket-sized ornamental auntie
o auntie of the cheques and the politeness
and the Church of England hassocks
my auntie who cuts the heads off whitebait
who finds New Year’s Eve maudlin
my unsentimental auntie my auntie who won’t fly
o auntie my auntie my misremembered auntie
shared bloodline auntie Carnation milk auntie
o auntie whose mother was the same as my father’s
practical auntie with looped pads and belts
who asked tiny cousins if they’d moved their bowels yet
o auntie late married after nursing
fecund and dutiful auntie
fourteen-year-old auntie choosing her father
in court because her brother had chosen their mother
o sacrificial auntie o noble auntie o good citizen
auntie who never swears who turns the telly off
if there’s sex who asks if people really do that
my counterpane auntie my candlewick auntie
my auntie of the hospital corners
o kind friend to his widow taker-in of lost families
my knotted handkerchief auntie my knee-high auntie
o auntie my auntie

The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to promote “a more general recognition and appreciation of poetry”.  Since then, it has grown into one of Britain’s most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally.  Today it has more than 5,000 members worldwide and publishes The Poetry Review.

With innovative education and commissioning programmes and a packed calendar of performances, readings and competitions, The Poetry Society champions poetry for all ages.

More about the Poetry Society…

Tweets @PoetrySociety

'My gym, my sea, my poetry script' - poet @Sharenaleesatti reflects on the importance of the Leeds to Liverpool canal to her, over on the Waterlines blog waterlines.org.uk/blog/my-gym-my… @CanalRiverTrust #LifesBetterByWater Retweeted by The Poetry Society

Tonight! Free online reading with fab new poets from the North West - Amina Atiq, Jack Nicholls, Saiqa Khushnood with Malika Booker @fakenicholls @AminaAtiqpoetry @Malikabooker as part of Poetry Society Peggy Poole programme twitter.com/PoetrySociety/… Retweeted by The Poetry Society

"Poetry is for everyone" Words of encouragement from @arloparks , patron of this year's Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award. If you're aged 11-17 find out more about the competition at bit.ly/foyleyoungpoets Enter online at foyleyoungpoets.org by 31 July.

test Twitter Media - "Poetry is for everyone"

Words of encouragement from @arloparks , patron of this year's Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award.

If you're aged 11-17 find out more about the competition at https://t.co/ZiArEziDYX

Enter online at https://t.co/BYvO8ywy1t by 31 July. https://t.co/myf5tNDW5W
test Twitter Media - "Poetry is for everyone"

Words of encouragement from @arloparks , patron of this year's Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award.

If you're aged 11-17 find out more about the competition at https://t.co/ZiArEziDYX

Enter online at https://t.co/BYvO8ywy1t by 31 July. https://t.co/myf5tNDW5W

Now that this is announced I can finally believe it 😭💛 'Middle Name with Diacritics' means a lot to me & it's an honour to see it shortlisted. Thank you Mum, thank you ancestors, thank you poetry 💛🌊🍃 Congratulations to all! @FoundationSwift @CreativeF_uture @PoetrySociety twitter.com/ForwardPrizes/… Retweeted by The Poetry Society

Come to @PoetrySociety's North West Showcase tomorrow! Featuring Malika Booker, 2019 Peggy Poole Award winner Saiqa Khushnood, 3rd prize winner of the National Poetry Competition Jack Nicholls and Liverpudlian poet Amina Atiq. Tickets are free: poetrysociety.org.uk/event/peggy-po… Retweeted by The Poetry Society

Don't miss this overview of villanelles from its musical origins to @MarvinPoet National Poetry Competition winning villanelle variation twitter.com/AvivaDautch/st…

WE ARE OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS fiction & poetry (no theme; open to refugees and immigrants) non-fiction, book reviews & author interviews (open to everyone; theme: migration) We pay £100 per author (print), £50 (online) Guidelines: othersideofhope.com/submissions.ht… Retweeted by The Poetry Society

Congrats all including Natalie Linh Bolderston for her National Poetry Competition poem 'Middle Name with Diacritics'! twitter.com/ForwardPrizes/…

Submissions to the £10,000 #PorticoPrize for outstanding Northern writing are now open! Joining our prestigious 2022 judging panel are: @MsMelanieSykes, @garyyounge, @RuffneckRefugee, @anitathetweeter and #SarahHall Deadline: 31 July 2021. Apply here: theportico.org.uk/portico-prize Retweeted by The Poetry Society

Hey, you like chocolate? We know someone who can hook you up. Look up Cece's Speakeasy... bit.ly/3g8lglZ @jazzrefreshed @TheAlbanySE8 @JoinTheSeason_ Retweeted by The Poetry Society