An extract from Boy Running | Wales Book of the Year shortlist

The winners of the Poetry, Non-Fiction and Fiction Categories, and the overall Wales Book of the Year Winner, will be announced in just two weeks. Seren have two titles in the running for the awards, and before we find out the results, we thought you might enjoy reading an extract from each of our nominated books. Look below and you’ll find an extract from Boy Running by Paul Henry (shortlisted for the Open University in Wales Creative Non-Fiction Award).

Studio Flat

Socks hang like bats from a skylight.
They may be dry in time for the moon.
The camp site owner’s water-feature
drains more blood from the sun.

Cars queue for the narrow bridge.
Birds catch their pulses and fly.
I am suddenly old. What’s an attic
but a bungalow in the sky.

And where are you, my sons?
I heard your voices in the bells
of snowdrops pulled by the wind.
These tulips have lost their smell.

Perhaps I could tell you, one day
where the snowdrops went, why old men
dry their socks on the moon, and what
darkened the skylight, just then.



I can’t get the ring out of my finger.
How long till it disappears
this ghost ring, twenty years deep?
I’m branded. Is it the same with you?
Your fingers were slenderer than mine.


We hope you enjoyed reading this free extract from Boy Running by Paul Henry. Keep an eye on the Seren blog, as we will be announcing the Wales Book of the Year Awards results in just over two weeks time.

About Boy Running:
Paul Henry has gained a reputation as one of of the best poets in the UK. Boy Running is his beautiful sixth collection and the first to follow  The Brittle Sea: New and Selected PoemsAlso a singer-songwriter, Henry is known for his precise lyricism, intimate tone and a cast of characters inspired (like Dylan Thomas) by his childhood by the sea in Aberystwyth, West Wales.


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