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Rhian Edward’s first collection of poems Clueless Dogs was published by Seren in May 2012 and has since been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for First Collection 2012, while her pamphlet of poems Parade the Fib, (Tall-Lighthouse), was awarded the Poetry Book Society Choice for autumn 2008. Rhian also won the John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry 2011-2012, winning both the Judges and Audience award, which is the highest accolade for a performance poet in Wales. Rhian’s poems have appeared in the Guardian, Times Literary Supplement, Poetry Review, Arete, the Spectator, Poetry London, Poetry Wales, the Prague Revue, the London Magazine, Stand, Planet Magazine and the Lampeter Review. Further to her recent public art commission where two of her poems were engraved into two sculptures in Bridgend town, Rhian is currently working again with Sculptor David Annand to compose a community poem for the new sculpture at Ynysawdre Comprehensive School. She was also recently awarded the Writer in Residency position at Aberystwyth Arts Centre from March to June 2013. Rhian is a poet and musician and has delivered over 300 stage, radio and festival performances world-wide. She lives in South Wales with her husband Blake and their dog Lola.




By Rhian Edwards

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An exceptional writer and performer who has delivered over 300 stage, radio and festival performances world-wide, Forward Prize nominee Rhian Edwards’ wit has been described as acerbic as Dorothy Parker’s. The depth and honesty of her work is all her own. Her poems display a salaciousness which is never sensationalist, and a frankness which is always fresh. The musicality of her Welsh background is often acknowledged within the rhythms she creates, and she has a natural exuberance which lends itself to quick-witted, amusing, memorable verse. Her fierce attention to detail often brings to life scenes and images which at first glance could seem mundane and everyday. We’re confident that you’ll enjoy Coldsores much more than its painful namesake.

The worry spoils, blistering
my mouth with coldsores. They cling
for dear life, feeding
like acorn barnacles chewing
on the hide of a whale.

We falter down Camden Passage    
through the swell of the Easter mob.  
They catch peeks of my cauliflower lip
and reckon me some kind of filth
or swollen with husbandly punches.

I smear on the ointment, become a freak-
show of a white-moustached lady.
Still the virus fidgets,
itching to spread, pulsing avid
as a stripped heart on display.

Our slow marches arrive us too soon ,
sheltered in the Angel station.  
Unable to kiss now, we block
the turnstile with our thin goodbye,
getting in the way of everybody’s escape. 

You dress the bag round my shoulders,
peck me on the forehead as you would
a daughter at bedtime.
I try a smile which fractures, 
making my mouth bleed.

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