Through the natural world, the poems in Botanicals explore the human. Grief, fatherhood, passion, isolation, meditation, memory and time are among the litterfall of this debut pamphlet. Intimate, restorative, interested in detail and the commonplace, this is a poet concerned with his environment, whose verse is at times vigorous, at others delicate as our relationship with the nature.
Botanicals won a Frosted Fire Firsts Award in 2021.
Our theme for submissions in April relates to the relationships between plants and human life and the interactions people have with plants in gardens.
Plants are everywhere, and affect all human life, whether providing food, medicine, warmth and shelter, beauty, or making the oxygen that all human and animal life depends on. Many people develop meaningful relationships with plants, particularly in choosing and nourishing them for a garden. Just as there is an infinite variety of plants, there is an infinite variety of poetic approaches to them as Ben Verinder shows in his book Botanicals.
Since you’ve read this far, you have probably been drawn to the idea of writing poetry with a plant or plants at its heart. If you don’t already have one or more ideas in mind, please read on.
In Ben’s wildfire words page, you can read and/or hear 5 poems from his book Botanicals, and see how they vary in approach from environmental concerns, strong narratives, nostalgia, myth and superstition, and scientific secrets.
Submissions on Botanicals & Gardens
We’re looking for poems that grab our attention, pull our heart strings, leave us open-mouthed or holding our breath, make uspoems think, make us laugh or cry, or are strikingly original. In short, poems that make us want to share them with wildfire words readers.
Submission is free. Poems can be in any format. You may submit one file containing up to 3 poems, each no longer than 40 lines including stanza breaks. Submitted poems must be totally your own original work, in English, and unpublished in print or online, including your own website.
Do, please, supply a mini-biog of 50 words max to be published alongside your poem, and if you like publicity add your Twitter or Facebook handle or personal website. You may also submit an audio recording, made on your phone, laptop, or tablet. If we choose to publish your poem, we will also publish your bio and consider your recording for publication. Submissions will be accepted up to 11.59pm on 30 April.