New Writers Awards 2016: Jen Cooper


Jen Cooper was born and brought up in Aberdeen, and now lives in Perth.

Her poems have been published in several literary magazines, including The Rialto, Ambit, New Writing Scotland and Envoi. In 2014 she was a winner of the Write Aberdeen/ Write Regensburg competition with her poem ‘Migration’ which appears in Passages, the collection celebrating sixty years of the twinning of the two cities.

Jen has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Aberdeen. She is currently working on a collection of poetry influenced by the time she has spent in the Cairngorms.


Writing sample


I thought we were alone
but last night I saw you grow
out of the field behind our house.
Uprooted, your too-long back legs
hauled out: a poor imitation, made
from the same stuff, it seemed,
as the cut hay bristling. 

How did you escape
such comprehensive mowing?
Not alone – three more
there, under the crackling pylon
and more again, the dark coming on,
prolific as dandelions.
I thought we were alone.


Jen says:

"I am delighted and honoured to receive a New Writers Award. To have the support of the Scottish Book Trust and the time and space to focus solely on writing is wonderful - it will be invaluable to my development. Many thanks for this opportunity."