Looking for more in Writing and Authors or About New Writers Awards?

New Writer 2021: Tim Craven


Tim Craven headshot

Tim Craven was raised in Stoke-on-Trent and lives in Edinburgh. He has an MFA from Syracuse University and a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, which explored the characterisation of mental illness in Confessional poetry. His poems have appeared in The ScotsmanThe London MagazineThe Poetry ReviewThe Rialto and the SPL's Best Scottish Poems anthology. His pamphlet, Lake Effect, is published by Tapsalteerie.

You can find him on Twitter(this will open in a new window), Instagram(this will open in a new window) or his website(this will open in a new window).

Writing sample


My job is to pick; I am a picker.

I harvest stock from the shelves

like ears of corn and pass it

to the ringer at the register

who compiles the orders

and onwards to the amender

who checks the consignment

against the warehouse manifest.

I staple a receipt to the pick-sheet

so it can be removed

by a dispatcher down the line.

A knot of days becomes a week;

weeks pile up like shed skins.

In the beautiful bite of coolness

at 5.30 am, before the sun hits its stride,

before the streets teem, a partial moon

hangs like a half-eaten egg in sky

the pink of a healing wound.

Change feels graspable.

I walk to my shift, my back

worked stiff from yesterday’s;

the only remedy is more work.

I pick. I pass. Repeat. Careful

not to suggest improvements.

Bone: the toil has reached the bone. 

Tim says:

'I am thrilled and immensely grateful that my writing has been recognised in this way. The award is a terrific opportunity to focus on my poems as I work towards compiling my first full collection.'