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Keith Chandler

Keith Chandler moved to Bridgnorth from Norfolk ten years ago.

Since being selected for Ten English Poets (Carcanet) in 1977, his poetry has been published in four collections: Kett’s Rebellion (Carcanet, 1982), A Passing Trade (OUP, 1991), A Different Kind of Smoke (Redbeck, 2001) and The English Civil War Part 2 (Peterloo Poets, 2009).

A new collection, The Goldsmith’s Apprentice, was published in 2018 by Fair Acre Press and awarded The Rubery International Award for Poetry. 

Further news about publications and reviews, as well as some irregular blogging, can be found on: Keith Chandler


The “chicken girl” by Keith Chandler


they called you, those who tutted, clucked

but wouldn’t ‘interfere’ or help

the mother who, moustached retard,

couldn’t cope, left you at home all day,

all night, with feathered foster aunts.

Among the dust, the dried sick smell

of chicken mash, the one square yard

of sky, fluff, yuk, hexagonal eyes

of wire, square yard of sluttish sand…

Aged ten, tiny skull, hands bent back

at the wrist, “unable to communicate

except through head-jerking shrieks”

and, rarely, that self-crooning sound

that dust bath, or contentment, makes…

Perched on the social worker’s lap

I see you, bright disc-membraned eye

(the other side blurred over, scarred

from unhealed fights) staring back

at the camera as at a bottle cap.

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