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  • Writer's pictureBelle Kenyon

Poem Spotlight: 'Mosquito Net' by Isabella Mead

Today we are delighted to showcase Aryamati Prize 2022 Runner Up Isabella Mead and a gorgeous poem from her pamphlet 'Dear Rwanda'.


By Isabella Mead

Work is over, and the giving in echoed in the great unloosening: reams of netting let down from the ceiling, tugged taut and tucked in. The world outside now muted, misty, unimportant, distances the primitive fear of things: spiders, scorpions? And worse, perhaps. Best make the latticework infinitesimal, allowing just weakened air from the hills,

the sound of cow-bells, the fragrance of tea-fields. Dreams, too, may only pass through once inspected and softened and censored and blurred into comfort, entering in with glazed candlelight, with traces of moon.

Mosquito Net was previously published in the Brotherton Poetry Prize Anthology II, Carcanet, 2022

About the pamphlet 'Dear Rwanda':

In this poetry pamphlet, there was a real sense of place and atmosphere: 'the praying-mantis grips a candle' and a sense of things being done differently: 'peace is more important than justice'. Here, there is a culture of community which does not require 'thank yous'.

Isabelle said: "I was impressed with Isabella's poetic craft and the spirit of the people she captured. The empathy of the poetry felt like it captured the ethos of the prize well."

About the Poet:

Isabella Mead lives in Bristol with Ama the cat. She is Head of Learning at the Story Museum in Oxford and a Trustee of Jane Austen House. She holds a Master’s in History of Art and studying French, Italian, Spanish and Bengali towards a second BA degree. A former secondary English teacher in East London, she worked for two years as a teacher trainer in a rural Rwandan village, an experience which profoundly informs her writing. She won the Ver Poetry Competition (2022), the Telegraph Poetry Competition (2022), the Julian Lennon Poetry Prize (2021), the Bedford International Poetry Prize (2020) and the Wells International Poetry Competition (2019). She was a finalist in the Brotherton Poetry Prize (2021) for which her poetry appears in an anthology published by Carcanet.


Read more about the Aryamati Prize here.

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