Skip to main content

Poem By Nigel McLoughlin

Good to have Nigel McLoughlin (pictured) as the featured poet this Friday. He's one of the impressive new voices of his generation.

He is also Reader in Creative Writing at the University of Gloucestershire and his work has been twice short-listed for a Hennessy Award, and placed in The Kavanagh Prize and The New Writer Poetry Prize.

McLoughlin lectured in Traditions at Poets’ House from 2000 to 2004 and has worked as a tutor with the London School of Journalism and as a Senior Tutor and Curriculum Design Consultant with the Open College of the Arts. He holds an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing and a PhD from Lancaster University.

He has written four collections of poetry: At The Waters’ Clearing (Flambard/Black Mountain Press, 2001), Songs For No Voices (Lagan Press, 2004), Blood (Bluechrome, 2005) and Dissonances (Bluechrome, 2007). He also co-edited Breaking The Skin (Black Mountain Press, 2002) an anthology of new Irish poets. His New and Selected will be out soon, from Templar, I hear.

Most recently, McLoughlin became editor of the revamped Iota magazine.

After The Battle

Night cursed its way along the valley,
lay like a malartán in the cradle of two hills.
The moon like a burst of ore had shot through
the streams’ seep between the stones
and sifted ferric flakes downhill
from the battlefield where the weapons
rust their way to their oblivion
of soil and shattered bone.

Even the grass is vaguely ferrous,
the sharp blade hides that underhand
green, flicks it from the frosty
underside like a switchblade of colour.
Dew shod, I make my crossing
across a treachery of stones
my feet defy by gripping
before the crack splits the blue air

wide open and through it something
vast and dark at the corner of my eye
approaches, flutters, passes. Again
and I look down into the whiskey-
coloured water a long while before
I realize the ore that colours it. I drop
my gun – a splash – a crack off stone,
I feel the iron heat half-cauterise my side.

Who’d have thought that blood
could have been that colour.

poem by Nigel McLoughlin
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…


According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…


Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:

HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!