The uncertainty, confusion and yearning that we are feeling because of the Covid-19 pandemic, has been joined by anger, frustration and devastation experienced in response to the killing of George Floyd at the end of May. And the poems on our May #PickoftheMonth shortlist represent this tumult of feelings.

Are you caught up in the fear of L Kiew‘s ‘Today everything is on fire & it’s dangerous’ or overwhelmed by what lurks in Tom Dwight‘s ‘Daylight and Dust’? Can you feel ‘what is missing’ with Jane Pearn – so poignant – or does Dan Dorman‘s delicate ‘Black Feathers’ resonate. Is it Mary Ford Neal‘s formidable ‘Jane’ that you want to stand up with or do you wrap up in the love that pervades ‘The Romance Languages’ by Isabelle Thompson.

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

Voting has now closed. May’s ‘Pick’ will be announced on Tuesday 16th June at 4pm.

For the lockdown period, our normal Pick ‘prize’ of £10 towards the UK charity of your choice or a National Book Token will rise to £30*. Charities and booksellers, both, have been hit hard by the shutdown and we wanted to make a (admittedly very small) gesture of support.


*Book tokens can only be used within the UK and will be divided between £20 for the winning writer and a £10 token for the person of their choice.