Category      : Poetry Award

Author           : Helen Moffet

Book              : Prunings

Helen Moffet’s poetry is characterised by accessibility and a consistent structure that draws the reader to her work. It also adds clarity to her poetic style. Moffet deliberately chose the title Prunings to indicate the actual pruning of unwanted branches. In this instance it seems to denote pruning unwanted poems, stanzas, lines and phrases. Some poems literally get pruned in public glare with Moffet leaving evidence of their straying from the required structure.

Poems contained in Prunings are well-written. As one reads through a lot of them you get to understand Moffet’s often metaphorical take to everyday life and happenings. The title might sound apt; however it’s in collections like this that the adage that ‘looks are deceiving’ is realised. It’s only when one reads the contents that the title explains itself. Often the pruning is deep like an ugly tattoo.

Challenging readers to attach meanings to ironies and succeed in making own sense is the hallmark of a beautiful poetry collection. Moffet succeeds in drawing the reader to the intimacy of her work without any coercion. The poems are just so well-written it would be a daylight robbery not to award the SALA Poetry Award to this beautiful collection.