Charlotte Wetton’s I Refuse to Turn into a Hatstand, published by Calder Valley Poetry in March, has been awarded the Michael Marks Pamphlet Prize for 2017 at a ceremony in The British Library. Charlotte had been one of five poets shortlisted from the original entry of more than 130.
Announcing the result, Chief Judge Ruth Padel said, “… we chose Charlotte Wetton’s I Refuse to Turn into a Hatstand, published by Calder Valley Poetry, a very small very new press which started business two years ago. We chose it for its assured craft, its emotional and imaginative conviction across a really wide range of forms and tones, and for its lovely language – fresh, direct, powerful and elegant, all at once. The poems are poised and brief but each feels like a small miracle. Indelible images of restraint, powerlessness and loss dominate, but it’s not all grim: Wetton writes with wit, too. She is particularly adept at observing the refrigerated stillness of office life, the draw of the exotic, and how, even in sex, genuine connection is fraught and far from guaranteed. ”
Charlotte (centre) flanked by her mother, Jeni, to her right, and Ruth Padel.