Maggie Sawkins

Maggie Sawkins 2016Maggie’s first poems were published in Hampshire Poets when she was seventeen. After a series of office jobs, including three years with The Exeter Flying Post, Maggie returned to education and went on to gain an MA with distinction in Creative Writing. Flarestack published a pamphlet collection Charcot’s Pet in 2003. Her first full collection,The Zig Zag Woman (Two Ravens Press), has received critical acclaim in journals such as Poetry London, The North and Magma. Her poetic vision was described by Vicki Feaver ‘as distinctive and beguiling – her poems are tautly written, full of wonderful and strange images and heartbreakingly moving.’

In 2014, Maggie was awarded the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry, and you can read about it here: Zones of Avoidance.

Reading: Romanian National Radio Poetry Programme (mp3)
See also: Fishouse Poems


I have come to translate the silence.
I’ve bought paper and pencils
and a pair of small ears.

I ask you
not to disturb me
until the task is done.

First I will unwrap the ears
and place them face up
on the floor.

You will observe their strangeness
these tiny shallows
these bridges of bone.

They are waiting for the sound
of no sound –
nothing is permitted

not even the intermittent
buzz of a fly nor the tick of a wall.

You must soften your breath
learn patience –
shuffle along any vagrant thought.

Soon the ears will begin
to quiver – gently they will
pick up the pencils at their side.

Listen closely –
the word is about to be

from The Zig Zag Woman (Two Ravens Press) 2007

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