#TheCodex – Susie Wild


Susie Wild is author of the poetry collections Windfalls and Better Houses, the short story collection The Art of Contraception listed for the Edge Hill Prize, and the novella Arrivals. Her work has featured in many publications including Celine’s Soho Salon: The Anthology (Volume 2)The Atlanta Review, Ink Sweat & Tears and Poetry Wales. She has placed in competitions including the Welshpool Poetry Festival Competition, the Prole Laureate Prize and the Mslexia Women’s Poetry Competition and performed at festivals including The Laugharne Weekend, Green Man and Glastonbury. She lives at the foot of a mountain in south Wales.

I’ve been wanting to write to you about the trampolines

but somehow I keep getting distracted
by thoughts of the flood, the way the trees in Bute Park

were like bathers waving or drowning,
bare arms in high winds

how the walking dogs were confused
at the new pond extensions – their now-swamped paths.

I’ve been wanting to write to ask if you’d seen them
airborne, bouncing as far as we’d once dreamt we could.

Remember? When we practised and practised, sometimes
for so long and so high and laughing so much we wet ourselves

just a little, but never said. All that mattered then was the height,
the leap away from land, from everything, and so,

when I saw the wrecked ground as the waters
ebbed, though I felt the devastation of those flooded homes,

of everything lost, my first thought was how I wished I could
reach you to tell you about these flyaway trampolines,

stopping trains in their tracks, causing the chaos we’d wanted.
Stopping the world, so that we could show off

our balance, our sailing grace,
our flight.

(Windfalls, Parthian, 2021)

‘Powerful, beautifully crafted poems…’ 
– Jonathan Edwards

The Bell

Like pressing the buttons at museums, I like to call
Time at the bar, ladies and gentlemen please, to strike
the ding-ding-ding on the bell. To make them drink up after
a fair drinking-up time, to get them to scarper to more

trouble or home. I have stood between overgrown men
before, broken up fights, threatened to call their mothers,
their numbers Blu-Tacked behind the bar, thrown my young
size 8 self in their path, the men on shift all standing

back but watching. They know these boys don’t
fight girls. I quote the number from memory
of the biggest lad’s Mum. Shall I call her, Jack?
Or will you go quietly? He pauses, slow motion,

looks at me, registering the danger, downs his pint,
says Come on lads, we should let her get her beauty
sleep or Smiler here will only refuse to serve us at all
tomorrow, let’s go.
He puts his hands palms up

in a sign of truce. Or peace. Or both.

(Windfalls, Parthian, 2021)

The Elephant Fayre

You were in a hurry to leave
home. The summer of ’85, and you were
six. At Port Eliot you struck out

alone. Across the fields,
under the cover
of long grass, wild flowers, you raced
flutterbies. Certain you belonged
at this festival of gadabouts,

you listened to the breeze,
heard your calling, found
a new family–– a gypsy
caravan to call

your own. They paid you
in ice cream, then – the traitors –
they gave you back.

(Better Houses, Parthian, 2017)

‘Poems carefully built to be inhabited.’
– Cynan Jones

Gifts Like Honey

I run in head-first at full
tilt my mouth a-buzz with well-earned stripes

I have so many bees to tell you
I lay them at your feet and

wait I take the bees to our front door
where they build to a dying welcome

I leap
and bat at your reaction

the dying welcome builds takes
me back to the front door

waiting I lay myself at your feet
with so many bees to tell you

stripes earned and mouth a-buzz
I tilt run in head-first

(Better Houses, Parthian, 2017)

Find out more about Susie here.


We’re delighted to publish three poems by writer Susie Wild as our first writer on The Codex, a new, special project with Broken Spine Arts Collective to showcase contemporary talent. Susie’s poetry has really distinctive appeal, with its playful, inventive phrasing and unexpected imagery, taking on almost any subject full-pelt as a conjuror of words. With her intense focus, Susie Wild can transform the everyday, the ordinary – a walk in the park, bouncing on a trampoline, a traumatic break-up, into a vibrant, often humorous and surreal poem, taking us into multiple situations, both challenging and provoking us as readers. The poems in ‘Better Houses’ and ‘Windfalls’ have a stripped-back, seamless and finished quality, reflected in her work with Parthian, where she edits Mari Ellis Dunning, Natalie Ann Holborow and Rae Howells, some of our favourite Welsh poets.

Page designed by Alan Parry, EIC of Broken Spine

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