Retta studied English Literature at Leeds University where she twice won the Alison Moreland poetry prize. After graduating she worked as an editor for the Institute for Social Inventions and co-edited Poem for the Day Two (Chatto & Windus 2003). She completed her MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and won the Dawson Jackson award for writing. She was awarded an Eric Gregory in 2006. She lives and works in London.
the ornamental world
Scrupulously observed and wonderfully executed work. Real poems.
A genuine poet. Simon Armitage
Dylan Thomas has his photo taken from the ornamental world
He is at most a torso, floating formal in a rising sea of ivy, the graveyard’s wrought iron bedsteads behind him. Neither a ghost nor a man, he stands solemn in his DJ and dicky bow, one hand in his pocket as though fumbling for a ticket, the unwelcome lustre of sunlight exposing the ends of his hair to a halo. His mouth’s remorseless. He has understood the decency of the dead bowing out in their own good time, giving up their long labour of attachment to the earth, in their best suits and skirts, their Sunday shoes, buffed to a sheen to catch God’s eye. Elsewhere the enterprise continues. Already he is worn in the graveyard’s afternoon, but the pardons and squalors will go on for some time. He has not hit the biggest of the biggies yet, but he is warm, warm…