The Muntjac

reflects our headlights in his eyes;

his scrubby body disappears into the hedge

now white with May,

tar and fern on his delicate hooves

and all at once the road reverts

to emptiness, but something of his presence

stays, an apparition on the verge:

fugitive from walled estates that favoured

curiosities, alien tropics quick and rank,
snaking beyond the boundaries, laying roots.

The road curves past Darks Dale floodlit,

a tractor ploughing furrows, past New Broke Ups,

Wrong Land; and beyond, a tangle of forest,
oaks hunched like old men against the night.

by Tamar Yoseloff   

News from the Centre! Tonight at 7pm, the Poetry Centre hosts an exciting poetry reading at the Albion Beatnik in Oxford with visiting US poet Leah Umansky and local poet Penny Boxall. Leah is the author of the dystopian-themed chapbook, Straight Away the Emptied World, the Mad-Men inspired, Don Dreams and I Dream, and the full-length collection Domestic Uncertainties. Penny is Education Officer at Oxford’s University Church. Her debut collection, Ship of the Line, was published by Eyewear in 2014, a year in which she also won second prize in the Jane Martin Poetry Prize and had her poem, ‘What You Mean to Me’, commended in the Forward Prize. For more details of the reading, visit our Facebook event page.

Irish literature expert (and former Director of the Poetry Centre) Dr Eóin Flannery, and Dr Donal Lowry, who has published widely on Irish foreign policy, are leading a one-day short course on Saturday 14 May at Oxford Brookes: ‘One Hundred Years On: 1916–2016. The Easter Rising: its History and Literature, Then and Now’. For more details, visit the Brookes website.

‘The Muntjac’ is copyright © Tamar Yoseloff, 2015. It is reprinted from A Formula for Night: New and Selected Poems (Seren, 2015) by permission of Seren Books.

Tamar Yoseloff’s A Formula for Night: New and Selected Poems includes dazzling new work as well as selections from her print collections and pieces from collaborations with artists. The title poem was commissioned by the Hayward Gallery for their 2013 exhibition ‘Light Show’ and is based on an installation by the Welsh Artist Cerith Wyn Evans. The poems in this collection are also concerned with heavenly presences, as well as evil spirits, explorations of light and dark.

Writing about the book, Martyn Crucefix has commented: ‘A Formula for Night is a major collection and career summary and really ought to be both on your wish list and on prize shortlists in the coming 12 months.’ Read more about A Formula for Night on Seren’s website.

Tamar Yoseloff is the author of four poetry collections, including Sweetheart, a PBS Special Commendation and the winner of the Jerwood Aldeburgh Festival Prize. Her most recent collections are The City with Horns and Formerly, a chapbook incorporating photographs by Vici MacDonald, which was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award. As well as other projects with artists, Yoseloff has also edited A Room to Live In: A Kettle’s Yard Anthology. She has been Reviews Editor for Poetry London and Poetry Editor for Art World. Yoseloff lives in London, where she is a freelance tutor in creative writing.  She explores the intersection between poetry and visual art on her blog Invective Against Swans.

Seren is an independent publisher based in Wales. Founded in 1981 to publish poetry discovered by the then-editor of Poetry Wales magazine, Cary Archard. Under Managing Editor Mick Felton the press now publishes a broad range of fiction, non-fiction, and criticism. Amy Wack has been Poetry Editor at Seren for over 20 years. During that time, poets published by Seren have won or been shortlisted for the Costa, Forward, T.S. Eliot and Aldeburgh Prizes. ‪You can find out more about Seren on the publisher’s website.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.