Roddy Shippin is the poet featured in the lively Curriculum Vitae, the pamphlet which won the runner-up prize of £600 for his publisher, QuemPress, in this year’s Callum Macdonald Memorial Award for poetry pamphlets.

A streak of wit runs through the pamphlet, even in these two less satirical samples of his writing.


Nana spreads her hands on the dining table – 
back massaged by osteoporosis.

A still afternoon
but the air is busy about her;

Windows are opened and 
closed before

callused midwife fingers usher forth
another steak pie from the oven

to be set next to our yawning china
and her small bowl of soup.

Passing hours refine each contradiction, 
fold up the space between extremes:

cracked bones on a tough frame,
fierce heart under broken ribs

English from a bilingual mouth
carrying a razor-sharp bluntness:

“you’re piling on weight”
as another meringue is set on my plate.


the prow is manufacturing foam
breaking a ghost path in surf

in the distance
windfarms cartwheel kinesis
spinning generation upon generation

a toddler is tipping his bottled-water into the sea
freeing it again to mingle and scatter

forehead creased in concentration
at each drop in the ocean