A-Gender
Living Published Women Poets in the UK
Esther Morgan
Categories: M

Esther Morgan poet

Esther Morgan was born in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, lived for a while in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, and has now settled in Norfolk.

Publications

Grace (Bloodaxe, 2011)

The Silence Living in Houses (Bloodaxe, 2005)

Beyond Calling Distance (Bloodaxe, 2001)

Esther Morgan began writing poetry while a volunteer at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, Cumbria.
She read English at Newnham College, Cambridge and completed an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia then taught on the university’s undergraduate creative writing course and at the Department of Continuing Education. After completing a teaching exchange at the Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia, Esther Morgan returned to the University of East Anglia where she edited Reactions. She works as a freelance teacher and editor and is Historic Recordings Manager for the Poetry Archive.

She received an Eric Gregory Award in 1998. Beyond Calling Distance won the Aldeburgh Festival First Collection Prize and was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Esther Morgan’s second collection The Silence Living in Houses was largely inspired by her time caretaking an Edwardian house in Goring-on-Thames. Esther Morgan’s poem This Morning won the 2010 Bridport Poetry Prize and Garbo  Amongst Us won third prize in the 2010 Mslexia Poetry competition.

Esther Morgan runs RSVPoetry which offers constructive criticism and an appraisal of a poet’s work, whether beginners or more experienced, and prices start from one poem upwards.

“Morgan explores the perennial reserve of mystery attaching to even the most familiar dwelling, since “Every house contains a room that doesn’t exist”. In the punningly titled ‘Self-Possession’, she conjures a  ghost as a kind of domestic pet “so I can sleep safe at night”. In ‘The Ghost of This House’ she goes further, and describes a usurping sprit who “is forgetting to believe in me”. Non-ghostly presences include imperious and domestically violent males, whose aggression is projected onto the house itself in ‘House Rules’: “a flight of stairs/throws you full length/a door walks into your face.” The book is arranged in three sections, with the theme of threat and violence building to a climax at the end of the second. In ‘House-Breaking’, Morgan describes her preference for a “roof of sky”, and the demolition work required to tear a house apart from the inside. It is a fitting metaphor for the struggle in these poems against their self-imposed claustrophobia. In ‘At the Parrot Sanctuary’, however, the book appears to end on an  equivocal note, with its image of visitors leaving the birds in their cages to “the silence that only comes/ when we are gone”. Is their silence a wise passivity or surly dejection? Parrots are, after all, noisy birds. These well-crafted poems relish their atmosphere of sylized confinement, even as they know that true liberation may require opening the door and letting the prisoners out.” Times Literary Supplement on The Silence Living in Houses.

Official website http://www.esthermorgan.net/index.htm with details for RSVPoetry.

 

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