GEOFF STEVENS MEMORIAL POETRY PRIZE 2018 IS NOW OPEN
Natalie Scott lives and works in Stockton-on-Tees. Her writing career has resulted in a number of publications including two pamphlets and a full collection. Her first pamphlet Brushed (Mudfog 2009) features 'Victorine or Naked Woman in Manet’s 'Le Déjeuner sur L’herbe', awarded finalist for the Aesthetica Creative Works Competition 2009.
Natalie’s full collection Berth - Voices of the Titanic (Bradshaw Books 2012), was awarded runner-up in the Cork Literary Review Manuscript Competition 2011.
Berth won an Arts Council award to be staged by Vivid at ARC in Stockton, to coincide with the centenary of the Titanic disaster.
Frayed is Natalie’s second pamphlet and features a poem commissioned by Vivid Theatre for their production Just Checking.
Her poetry has appeared in journals including Ambit, Agenda, Other Poetry, South Magazine, Aesthetica, Pennine Platform, Writing in Education, Live Canon and Poetry Scotland.
Natalie has a PhD in Creative Writing and is currently training in the field of Writing for Therapeutic Purposes to become a Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator.
For more information please visit Natalie’s website: www.nataliescott.co.uk
COVER IMAGE Kim McDermottroe
£6.00 + P&P UK
PUB: 6 MAY 2016
Frayed explores a number of interwoven themes including nature, relationships and the complexities of the mind; Scott considers the natural world in poems which adopt an eco-centric perspective, from a landscape in fog to road kill; she presents snapshots of relationships becoming ragged at the edges using domestic images such as a shopping list and mattress; and the thoughts of fractured minds are voiced from the perspective of those suffering moments of obsession or confusion.
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“The poems in Frayed move assuredly between the rural and urban and some of the most inventive and memorable images occur at the uneasy intersection between the human and more-than-human worlds. Whether beautifully describing the precise moment at which an osprey fledges or recounting the end of a long-term relationship through the life story of a double mattress, Natalie Scott evokes the richness and fragility of both the human condition and the wider natural environment in which it's seen to play an often treacherous part.”
“In this carefully-crafted collection of poems, Natalie Scott is a shape-shifter offering the reader surprising and vivid insights into a variety of worlds. She merges powerful accounts of the natural world and, especially, unforgettable testimonies to the lives of animals, with the personal pain of a relationship breakdown and darkly humorous depictions of living with OCD. The language is alive and the poems satisfyingly made. Precise, fresh, multi-layered and never predictable, ‘Frayed’ is a collection to read and reread.”
“Here’s a ‘frayed’ relationship viewed through a multifaceted jewel of poetic renderings. There are lots of kisses: a fridge magnet still kissing the fridge, a blind cave fish kissing its way around a tank – dirty kisses. Loving you, she says, is like living on Death Row.
I couldn’t wait to read where she was going to take me next.”
It sometimes takes me longer
to do tasks because I think
not about it but the way
in which I carry it out.
Seven makes it work for me.
Seven has to shape my words
into neat lines and stanzas.
Odd jobs prove most challenging:
seven taps of the hammer
and the nail still wobbles loose.
Seven more and the wood splits.
With the right sized wood and nail
(I have to measure it well)
it drives home and the shelf's up.
(repeat seven times)
Like Snow White, seven warns me
of the apple and the comb
but so inevitably
the poison enters my blood
and seven is lost in an
impossible maths problem
buzzing with seven, seven.
Seven sweeps of the milk brush
and the pastry sags soggy.
Undercook and overcook
based on denominations
of times and temperatures
baked for twenty one minutes
divided into seven.
(repeat seven times)
Seven is nature's number:
directions, days of the week.
Seven Wonders of the World
have importance sevenfold.
The Bible speaks in sevens.
My mother speaks in sevens.
My doctor speaks in sevens.