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Psalmody - Maria Apichella Forward Prize Shortlist


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Shortlisted for the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection 

This ambitious debut interrogates love and faith in the contemporary world. Grounded in the relationship of a profoundly religious woman and an atheist, the collection’s central characters both become inextricably identified with the Old Testament King and Psalmist David. These free-verse psalms transplant all of the ancient form’s tropes – vivid eroticism, praise, questioning, triumph, doubt, and lush naturalism – into modern Wales.

Maria Apichella completed her PhD in English and Creative Writing at The University of Aberystwyth in Wales. She now teaches with the University of Maryland, University College, Europe. Her pamphlet Paga was a winner of the Cinnamon Press Pamphlet Competition in 2014. This is her first collection.

These poems of love, faith and doubt are passionate and matter-of-fact at the same time, combining the sensuous details of everyday life with glimpses of the sacred and the eternal. It’s a combination that hasn’t been heard enough in British poetry, and never in this distinctive, musical voice.


'God is making a comeback in contemporary poetry, and Psalmody should have an important place in that conversation. Apichella revels in religion’s more visionary, rhetorical contributions to poetic language. It’s vivid, breathless work.'

- JEREMY WIKELEY, The Poetry School https://poetryschool.com/reviews/review-psalmody-maria-apichella/

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