Winner Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry
Shortlisted for The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection Forward Poetry Prizes 2009
Poetry Bank Choice
Poetry Book Society Recommendation
In 2006 ‘The Send-Off’, an elegy for a lost child, was broadcast on Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 and the issues it raised – ante-natal testing, grief, guilt, the family, women’s lives – raged on for weeks in blogs and notice boards. But no one wondered what the poem was about. It was crystal clear. The poems in Sian Hughes debut collection, The Missing are direct and emotional. They do not hide behind imagery. They deal head on with the heart of shame, with parenting, illness, loss, regret and falling in love with the wrong people.
‘Most minds retreat from the scenes of our greatest fears: from the children’s ward, the hospital graveyard, the defeat of love. Siân Hughes, on the contrary, advances, with the flaring senses and clear eyes of a writer intent on her proper subject. These fine, bare, desolate poems are the result; each one as arresting, rare, and compelling as the truth.’ —Kate Clanchy
‘Siân Hughes’s voice moves us because she manages the difficult art of putting wit to the service of strong feeling – a rare achievement.’ —Hugo Williams