Sarah Wimbush – Bloodlines (Seren)



Judges’ Comments

Linguistically and formally inventive, Sarah Wimbush’s Bloodlines evokes the world of Gypsies and Travellers, a vital and intensively lived world at once harsh and earthy, exuberant and exotic. A plethora of voices punctuates the sequence as the reader is invited to connect imaginatively with customs, traditions and communities known at first hand by their chronicler and creator. This is an exciting debut pamphlet thrumming with humanity and with the mystery and joy of being alive.


Meat Puddin’


Take shin, kidney, an onion. Dice.

Cradle beef suet in your palm; shred

into flour with Daddy’s rabbit knife

lace-edged with rust. Add spring water.

Pullt goo into a ball. 


Roll into a circle with a besom end.

Scoop the mas and press onto the dough.

Gather like a pack-up. Flute the rim

with a lick of ale to seal together.

Gi the dumplin’ skin a slap.


Turn onto a floured pudding cloth.

Tie a double knot. Slide into the cauldron,

water thrilling over scavenged vonga,

one eye on the blip-blip-shudder till dusk.

Lift puddin’ arht b’t knot. Untie.


Ease the moon into an Imari bowl

haggled to a farthing from Black’s pot barrow

on Retford market. Cut into a clock.

Add cooking liquor and salt —

n’ then lass, eat wi carrots, tatties, swede.




mas meat;    vonga coal




The 2020 Shortlists


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