The ordinary becomes extraordinary in the shortlisted works for our first Pick of the Month for 2020 and the decade.

Seemingly familiar warning signs in Rob Stuart‘s Word & Image are, in fact, ‘Poetry Hazards’. Melanie Branton’s ‘Going South to Morden’ is much more than a Tube journey and are we sure we know where Chin Li is going in ‘The Crossing’? Dave Stacey’s ‘Morning has broken’ looks beyond a sunrise and ‘Alexandra Corrin-Tachibana’s ‘realisation about a friend’ is intriguingly reticent. Then you have Paul Stephenson‘s take on ‘January’ which is both out of left field and makes complete sense.

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 January 2020 Pick of the Month′ in the Categories list to your right on the screen.

Voting is now closed. January’s Pick will be announced in the next few days.

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 All shortlisted poetry Picks, provided they remain unpublished and meet other eligibility criteria, will be considered as IS&T submissions for the annual Forward Prize for Best Single Poem.