Our shortlist for December 2019’s #PickoftheMonth, the last of the decade, reflects the unease that has pervaded the year. Some poems have come from our #12DaysOf… Christmas feature but these are not scenes of comfort and joy. Santa’s ‘girls’ are striking back in ‘His Daughters’ by Joanne Key, Pippa Little looks to the past and the ‘Sparklen Bottle’ of her grandmother’s ‘winterdark house’ and we are falling into an unknown, dystopian future in John Greening‘s ‘At Christmas’? Mick Corrigan hints at a similar fate in ‘No more ordinary mornings’ and Matt Merritt‘s ‘Peninkulma’ also suggests an unknown threat. Perhaps the wry humour of Anita Goveas with ‘Titles of my autobiography I have discarded’ shows how to cope.

All six of the shortlist have been chosen by Helen or Kate or received the most attention on social media. They can be found below or by clicking on ‘Vote for your December 2019 Pick of the Month′ in the Categories list to your right on the screen.

Voting has now closed. December’s ‘Pick’ will be announced on Sunday 19th January.

The winner each month will be sent a £10 book giftcard or, if preferred, a donation of the same amount will be made to a chosen charity. In the event of the winner being from outside the UK mainland, we will make every effort to provide a reasonable alternative. All shortlisted poetry Picks, provided they remain unpublished and meet other eligibility criteria, will be considered as IS&T submissions for the annual Forward Prize for Best Single Poem.