Kim Moore's debut collection wins Geoffrey Faber prize
Kim Moore has won the Geoffrey Faber memorial prize with her debut collection The Art of Falling, which was published by Seren in 2015. The prize, which is worth £1,500, is given in alternate years to a volume of verse and a volume of prose fiction. It has been won in the past by Seamus Heaney and Tony Harrison.
The judges, poets Gillian Clarke and Katharine Towers, and the New Statesman’s Tom Gatti, spoke of More’s “command of a poem’s closing moments – she knows when to leave quietly and when to jolt the heart. Few write as well as Moore of the limitations and transformations of the body – its animal nature that speaks to the crow or wolf; its ability to internalise the landscape (to ‘grow a sloping woodland in your heart’); its fragility and ability to attract and absorb pain, to be ‘translated by violence’.”
In an interview with the Guardian Moore spoke of the poems in her collection’s central sequence, which tell of a woman in a violent relationship: “The first time I wrote them they came out really raw, like therapy. But I rewrote them again and again … It’s not a narrative sequence, saying this happened and that happened, so it doesn’t feel revealing in that way – I’m not telling the story of it. It’s more metaphors for violence … The poems feel almost like little shields I can hold in front of me at a reading.”
Kim Moore worked as a trumpet teacher for 13 years before focusing on poetry. She is currently working on a new collection, looking at everyday experiences of sexism.