A touch of menace lurks among the lines of our shortlisted poems for October’s Pick of the Month. It may be just outside the door that you cannot seem to get out of in ‘Dressed’ from Lucy Ashe or what is revealed in Niamh Haran‘s ‘Refurbishment’. It can be sensed in ‘To those who don’t want poetry in GCSE’ by Amlanjyoti Goswami. Or loom over you like Gabriel Moreno‘s ‘Angel of Fear’ or the tatterdemalion of Tim Murphy‘s ‘The Incident’. But faced fully, it can bring acceptance as in Amy Rafferty‘s ‘Here Come the Crows’.

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

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

For the coronavirus period, our normal Pick ‘prize’ of £10 towards the 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. Sadly, we are unable to find suitable cost-effective alternatives outside the UK.