Olga-Dermott-Bond’s winning poem: My daughter’s first eye test

Every year, Poetry on Loan runs a poetry competition for people who live, work or study in the West Midlands. This year’s theme was Vision, and the winner of the adult category was this poem – My daughter’s first eye test, by Olga Dermott-Bond.


Olga is originally from Northern Ireland and read English at the University of St. Andrews. Her debut poetry pamphlet “apple, fallen” is published by Against the Grain Press. A former Warwick Poet Laureate, she has had poetry and flash fiction published in a range of magazines including Rattle Magazine, Dodging the Rain, MagmaStrix, Cordite ReviewUnder the RadarInk Sweat and TearsThe Interpreter’s House and Paper Swans. She was the winner of BBC Proms poetry competition 2019 and is a commissioned artist for Coventry City of Culture 2021. Olga was selected as one of the emerging poets for Bedtime Stories of the End of the world. She is an Assistant Head in a secondary school in Warwickshire and has two daughters. @olgadermott

olga5‘Olga Dermott-Bond’s superb poems make their way towards searing emotion via craft, detailed observation and a kind of glittering acceptance that the world we have is the world we must write about and the job of the poet is to make art from the flawed things around us. These poems reward rereading and hang around in your mind, delivering phrases and lines back to you at unexpected times that turn out to be the times you need them most.’  Ian McMillan 

‘Vivid and powerful.’ Ana Sampson-McLaughlin 

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