Jacqueline Saphra

Jacqueline Saphra is a playwright, screenwriter, poet and keen collaborator. Her first book, The Kitchen of Lovely Contraptions (flipped eye, 2011) was shortlisted for the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. If I Lay on my Back I Saw Nothing but Naked Women was published by the Emma Press (2017) and won the Saboteur Award for Best Collaborative Work. Also in 2017 A Bargain with the Light: Poems after Lee Miller (Hercules Editions) was shortlisted for a Saboteur Award and her latest collection from Nine Arches Press, All My Mad Mothers, was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot prize. She lives in London and teaches at the Poetry School.


Photo: Naomi Woddis


Poetry Centre Stage »

Ease into the weekend with a double bill of poetry
20:00 Reading – Jacqueline Saphra
21:00 Reading – Menna Elfyn​​​​​​​

Fri 8 March | 20:00 - 22:00 | £9.75/£8.00 | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Auditorium

Containing Chaos; the sonnet and its enduring attractions »

A workshop on writing sonnets led by Jacqueline Saphra

Fri 8 March | 10:30 - 12:30 | £7.00 | Public Library, Church Square, Meeting Room

Past & Present »

Jacqueline Saphra on Edna St Vincent Millay; Caroline Bird on James Tate

Sat 9 March | 11:30 - 12:30 | £4.50/£3.50 | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Council Chamber

Imprisoned Poets Reading »

Short readings from the work of imprisoned poets

Fri 8 March | 15:30 - 16:30 | free / ticketed | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Auditorium



Lee Miller with David E Scherman, Lee Miller in Hitler’s Bath, Munich, April 1945

He’s falling, you’re rising and it shows:
the water’s still hot in the Führer’s flat.
You pull your boots off, dump your clothes,
focus, grind Dachau dirt into the mat
and share his bath. You took time to compose
this picture: Aryan aristocrat
completes toilette.
But whose portrait is that,
whose sweet white towels and soap are those?
Triumphant, you’ve arrived at his address,
your demons should be dead, but no, you’re pressed
against the tongues and hands of all your ghosts.
Your empty boots begin to stamp, you’re hungry
for more action: unbuckled, filthy, crushed,
a world apart. How did you come to this?


Jacqueline Saphra

From A Bargain with the Light: Poems after Lee Miller, published by Hercules Editions in 2017. www.herculeseditions.com