GEOFF STEVENS MEMORIAL POETRY PRIZE 2018 IS NOW OPEN
Caroline Carver started life in Bermuda, Jamaica and England, and after spending time in mainland Europe, moved to Canada. There she worked in publishing, television and pr, and was an ‘on air’ radio personality for many years.
In 1989 she and her family settled in Cornwall and she began writing poetry in the mid-1990s, thanks to encouragement from the Falmouth Poetry Group. In 1998 she won the National Poetry Prize with a poem about killing a shark, which gave her the confidence to keep writing, and she’s been fortunate enough to win or place in a number of other competitions since, among them the prestigious Silver Wyvern Award from Poetry on the Lake in Orta, Italy. She won the first Guernsey Poems On the Buses competition and was commended in the 2011 National Poetry competition.
Caroline’s work has been translated into Romanian, Italian and French, and she was part of a poet’s tour of Ontario and New York/New England a few years ago, in company with poets Penelope Shuttle and Victoria Field. She continues to give readings and workshops around the UK and also abroad.
In Cornwall, Caroline is active in many poetry happenings. She founded PICCOLINA, which circulates news of all poetry events happening in Cornwall. She’s a Hawthornden Fellow, and was poet-in-residence at Trebah Gardens for many years before taking up her current residency with the Marine Institute, Plymouth University.
Caroline's work is published in a variety of magazines, including two in Italy, and included in many anthologies.
£6.00 + P&P UK
ju ju baby is alive in the world and the world is alive in him. There are ghosts, saw-whet owls, sounds that come from the bodies that spirits are given to live in.
This book looks at how we grow in both body and spirit, how we bond with the natural environment, how we develop relationships.
Inventive, unusual and sparkling with life, it carries readers on a journey they will not forget.
"Fierce, vulnerable and open to his kinship with all the creatures that populate his world, an ancient new baby arrives, weighed down with the wrongs of his disposable ancestors. In bone -deep language, rich with images that score the skin of our complacency, we are shaken, moved and shamed by this small person and the disappearing landscape of his life."
"Caroline Carver not only creates myth; she uses it in startlingways to illuminate reality, without letting either have the last word. ju ju baby is a remarkable work by a remarkable writer."
ju ju baby steps out of his mother’s body
puts on his fourscoreandten year boots
tastefully knitted in white with pink ribbons
(they were expecting a girl)
wa-wa-wa-wa-ah shouts ju ju baby
as the scent of his pine-needle heritage
drifts in at the window ee ai ee ai ee he cries
as his cowboy lassoo-a-steer-at-the-gallop father
tries an uneasy cuddle wonders why
his wife’s given him such an ugly baby
the nurse hands them a printout showing
defective genes mercury poisoning
hormone deficiencies measles
chicken-pox other sicknesses to come
huh-mhuh-mhuah cries ju ju still a soul
not yet a person not yet with second-sight
but already seeing air thick with the dust
of his ancestors crying wa-wa-wa-wa-ah
as they fall off construction sites drown in lakes
die on horseback gunfire behind them
ju ju eyes his mother’s body
wants to go back in again
the ghost of a woman
roosts in a pine tree
sharing her branch
with a hooting saw-whet owl
her life gathered round her
like shredded remains of washing
clinging to the line after a great storm
it’s three years since her ex-lover
set a hare running
a seed on the wind that took root
in the womb of her usurper -
now she looks down from her perch
at an ugly moon-faced child
her curse floating round him
like wisps of night cloud
if she were human she would weep
strip the owl of his feathers
blind those reproachful eyes
beg for wickedness to be revoked
spring/summer autumn winter
ju ju’s springsummer run into each other
like eager young horses
the river fills with excitements as his dada
takes him through rapids in the birch-bark canoe
everything droops in the heat
fall comes suddenly an overnight artist
dipping into into the frost palette
turning everything blood orange
sometimes brings his moon mother so close
his arms are long enough to touch her
ju ju loves winter best winter’s when
his birthmother zips him into his bear suit
and he goes out into a world clean as new laundry
carpets of snow smooth enough for angels to lie on
the lake like unmarked glass
till they get out their skates do figures of eight
sometimes his dada saddles the horses
takes his cart on the ice
cuts great slabs solid as mountains
to keep for summer in the sawdust pit and ju ju
sings battle cries sthum sthum sthum as he flies
down a slope just steep enough for his toboggan
winter when liquid transparency rules the world
and every tree’s transformed maples hang
with sweet icicles snow-burdened
jackpines and cedars wear gloves of ice