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An excerpt from'All The Poems Contained Within Will Mean Everything To Everyone'

Adam Lorral, born 1985, is a playwright, translator and the editor-publisher of this anthology. His work for the stage has been performed at the Rosemary Branch, the Maddermarket and downstairs at the Everyman. In 2012, he was awarded a Society of Authors’ grant to develop new bilingual work with the Belarus Free Theatre in Minsk. The following year he was selected by Time Out as one of their fifty creatives who will shape the future. However, nothing in his career so far has meant more to him than this slim volume of poetry. Editing, financing and producing this publication has been a truly life-changing experience for Adam. Changing even the parts of Adam’s life that Adam didn’t want changed! He hopes you enjoy it.

Gabriella Fellman was born in 1996 in Brighton and now lives in Sheffield. Her first collection of poems—the trees, ahem, the trees—will be published this spring. She is the youngest contributor to this project and, therefore, the most forgivable.

Adam Lorral, born 1985, is a playwright, translator and the editor-publisher of this anthology. He would just like to add that if you are ever putting together your own landmark generational poetry compendium using a strict open submissions policy: don’t give out your home address. Particularly when it’s a small top-floor one-bed shared with your then-wife and four-week-old child. Adam had expected that few poems would arrive and, of those that did, that they would be mostly bad and easily dismissed. How wrong he was because they came in volume and it was terrifying how passable they were. Hundreds and hundreds of competent poems from men and women and a few from people who did not give their names because they wanted to be judged on their averageness alone. Suffocatingly adequate, these poems. Just good enough that he had no choice but to read them closely in order to realise that they were fine. All of which meant that Adam started to prefer really awful poems because at least they made him feel something.

Cara Ayette’s latest pamphlet is if you still believe in karate. She presumably spent a long time trying to find a way to elegantly write that she won the TalkTalk Fibreoptics New Poets of the Internet Age Bursary, perhaps trying it in brackets, abbreviating it as TTFNPIAB, before eventually settling for bursary-winning. She lives in Salzburg.

Adam Lorral is a playwright, translator and the man who, morning after morning, stood barefoot on his front doorstep, holding a bundle of letters so large that the postman left a wide rubber band around them—the kind of bands they use to clamp shut lobsters’ claws before they throw them in the pot. And as Adam climbed the fifty-four steps to his flat, he did sometimes feel bad about all the rejection notes he would have to write. He didn’t get into the landmark-poetry-anthology game in order to crush people’s dreams but it was unavoidable. He made sure to handwrite them and make each slightly different because that seemed important. I liked these poems but not enough. I really liked these poems but not enough. I really liked these poems but just not quite enough.

A little bit about Joe Dunthorne

Joe Dunthorne credit Tom Medwell medium.jpg

Joe Dunthorne was born and grew up in Swansea. His debut novel, Submarine, was translated into sixteen languages and adapted for film by Richard Ayoade. His second, Wild Abandon, won the Encore Award in 2012. His latest is The Adulterants. His short stories have been published in The Paris Review, the Guardian and McSweeney’s. A collection of his poems, O Positive, was published earlier this year by Faber & Faber.

See the full Shortlist