Zoë Skoulding

Zoë Skoulding is a poet, critic and translator who has lived in north Wales since 1991. Her collections include The Mirror Trade (Seren, 2004); Remains of a Future City (Seren, 2008), longlisted for Wales Book of the Year; The Museum of Disappearing Sounds (Seren, 2013), shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry; and Footnotes to Water (Seren, 2019), which is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Her translations include In Reality: Selected Poems (Seren, 2013) by the Luxembourgish poet Jean Portante. Her own poems have been translated into over thirty languages. Her monograph Contemporary Women’s Poetry and Urban Space: Experimental Cities was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013, and she was editor of the international quarterly Poetry Wales from 2008 to 2014. She is Reader in the School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics at Bangor University. In 2018 she received the Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors.

Photo: Anna Terék


Border Crossings »

Reading: Zoë Skoulding, Pauli Tapio

Fri 6 March | 11:30 - 12:30 | £4.50/£3.50 | Parliament Hall, South Street


Gull Song

we come into the vacuum where the city was and we become
the vacuum you can hear your hunger speaking in our noise
and you can hear your hunger for the sea where you
came in like us and now we want your flat roof and your
sandwich we want the whole of the sea and the brooding clouds
our cries cut through your dropped ice cream and your almost
empty bag we come with necks like monuments to nothing
we come with eyes as cold as spreadsheets there is no warmth
in our endless whiteness just the grey shadow of possession
wherever you are you can hear us we came in with the herring
and stayed we came further in gathering your waste in our
plastic beaks we are rhythm distributed in space we’re
stamping on the ground to make the rain come the worm rise
we see a hand move to a mouth we come closer you see us
we back off we live in debt in the wreck of your greed
we scavenge in the turned tide of lunch we come nesting
who cares where we lay as long as there’s a ledge or the
edge of a cathedral roof we are just too much and we live in
the too much of the takeaway the too many kebabs and chips
we dance with your too many leftovers we are leftovers too
with prehistoric feathers look at our eyes you are under
our surveillance our cries drown out your voices look at us
look at us hanging look at us we almost love you

Zoë Skoulding

From Footnotes to Water (Seren, 2019)