September 18th, 2010

me

Interview with Victor Tapner



Victor Tapner lives in Essex and is a freelance writer, having previously worked as a journalist on the Financial Times. He has published poems in many magazines and anthologies, and had success in several competitions – his poem Kalashnikov won the Cardiff International Poetry Competition in 2000. His first collection, Flatlands, has just been published by Salt and you can read more about it here

In one of my other interviews, the poet Paul Yandle spoke of how an early poem of Victor's, "Coffee Shop" had influenced him - "how delicate and beautiful it was, how the lines were perfectly weighted and balanced on top of the next and how such small details were made to become vibrant and massively affecting". Here's the poem:

Coffee Shop

Most evenings
he comes in
about this time.

Espresso,
cigarette,
an intelligent paper.

A seat
by the window,
facing in.

Jeans, jumper
and black brogues.
I like those.

I wipe the table,
sometimes twice.
When I lean over

with his cup
my apron tightens,
just a touch.

Most evenings
he comes in
about this time.

I always think
he won't.
And then he does.

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Links to other poems

Victor Tapner's website

The Flatlands page on Salt's site.

Thames Idol, a poem from Flatlands, on the Essex Poetry Festival site.

Elizabeth Blackwell's Five Hundred Cuts, a third prizewinner in the Cardiff International Poetry Competition, on the Academi website.