Vicki Feaver (b. 1943, Nottingham) stole a copy of Blake’s poems from her parents’ bookshelf as a child and, reading it in bed by torchlight, developed a secret ambition to become a poet. Much of that early encounter went into I Want! I Want! – the title is from Blake’s engraving, showing a child clambering towards the moon on a ladder, and speaks to Feaver’s themes of female ambition and desire. The sections of the book are separated by ladder motifs; Feaver describes testing her editor’s patience by insisting ‘they were drawn with just the right degree of wobbliness’.
A new collection from Feaver is a rare event; this is only her fourth in forty years. A poem from her 1993 collection The Handless Maiden won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. She is an Emeritus Professor at University College, Chichester.
Hear Vicki Feaver read on The Poetry Archive.
Forward Prizes History:
Photo credit: Chris Parks