Nigel Kent – Guest Feature

Patricia’s Pen is delighted to welcome back poet, reviewer and blogger, Nigel Kent. This visit Nigel celebrates his latest collection Benchwarmers published by the wonderful Hedgehog Poetry Press. Without further ado it’s over to Nigel.


Nigel Kent

Thank you, Patricia for allowing me the space to talk about my latest pamphlet, Benchwarmers (Hedgehog Poetry Press, 2023), joint-winner of Hedgehog Poetry Press 2022 Wee Collection Challenge.

I have always been interested in poetry’s capacity to make a difference by enabling readers to make a connection with others. Consequently, many of the poems in my previous collections (Saudade, Unmuted, Psychopathogen) have attempted to share the significant in the lives of ordinary, unexceptional people. Benchwarmers is no different, except this time I have specifically focused on those at the margins of society: life’s outsiders, the disenfranchised, those who ‘lost life’s toss the moment they were born.’

The poems explore the nature and quality of such people’s lives and how society has failed them, or constrained them. Some poems focus on the cruelty that they experience, and others on the profound effects of lack of opportunity and the choices that are made for them. That all sounds pretty grim, I know! However, I want the reader, to be able to connect with these experiences and say, ‘Yes, I know what you mean. Life must be like that for them’ for understanding is the first step towards change. Nevertheless, I hope readers will feel that the pamphlet ends optimistically with poems that show life doesn’t have to be like that. Fellow poet, Phil Vernon, writing about Benchwarmers, puts it perfectly: ‘through their own empowered actions, and/or the love and attention some receive, they can…either ‘speed away’ or ‘find their own way home.’ 

Here’s a little taster.

To purchase a copy of Benchwarmers, contact Nigel via his website or Send him a direct message via Twitter

About Nigel Kent

Nigel Kent is a four times Pushcart Prize nominated poet and reviewer who lives in rural Worcestershire. He is an active member of the Open University Poetry Society, managing its website and occasionally editing its workshop magazine.

He has been shortlisted for several national competitions and his poetry has appeared in a wide range of anthologies and magazines. He is also the author of Unmuted, Saudade, Psychopathogen, and two poetry conversations with Sarah Thomson, A Hostile Environment and Thinking you Home, all published by Hedgehog Poetry Press.

In 2021 and 2022 he was shortlisted for the Saboteur Award for Reviewer of Literature.




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