Holly Pester

Holly Pester (b. 1982, Colchester) works as a practice-based researcher; she’s completed residences in the Text Art Archive, the Women’s Art Library and the Wellcome Collection. ‘Comic Timing’, her shortlisted poem, takes for its subject an early medical abortion, a ‘banal and farcical one’. ‘[A]che is tempo / I have seen millions of films / I get it’, she writes, as the rhythms of her retelling translate into the rhythms of the ‘bodily-yet-politicised experience’.

The poets Pester most admires, in her own words, practise ‘formal experimentation in time with lived experience, which becomes a new thought and an expression of a politics, and sometimes, also, a form of comedy (as an affect on life)’. She is currently working on a new collection, from which ‘Comic Timing’ is taken, ‘all around latency and radical rest states’.

Forward Prizes History:

  • 2019 Forward Prizes for Best Single Poem, shortlisted for ‘Comic Timing’ (Granta Magazine)