In 2013 'Chicken Sutra' won second prize in the Flamingofeather Poetry Competition. Another poem from BORK! was featured as Poem of the Week in The Scotsman.
My first collection of poetry, Dance of the Sheet, was published by Odyssey Press in 1994. I have had poems published in a variety of magazines, including Other Poetry, 14, Orbis, South and Obsessed with Pipework. I was a runner-up in the Cinnamon Poetry Pamphlet competition and have poems anthologised in The Visitors (Cinnamon Press), The New Exeter Book of Riddles (Enitharmon) and Virago New Poets. In 2010 I was a winner in the Guernsey Poetry on the Buses competition.
I received a Hawthornden Fellowship for my poetry and have given readings in Dartington (Ways With Words), Exeter, Norwich, London, Zurich and various other places. I was a founding member of Wordcircus and am a member of Weir Poets
Reviews of BORK!
Slowly the collection starts to build on the observed chickens and head off into a treatment on chickens and their relationship to humans, both in abstract and personal... which calls up the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop.' (Andy Mcdonnell, Lighthouse)
'In the complex, disordered, near-collapse of the human world that presses in from the edges, Gittins gives us a surprisingly comforting and intelligent counterweight.' (D.A. Prince, Sphinx)
'It's ... one of the most surprising yet from this fine press, full of truly imaginative writing that makes a nonsense of simplistic categories. You'll never look at a chicken in quite the same way again. (Matt Merritt, Sphinx)
If you do not buy, borrow or steal a copy of this pamphlet you will never know why the wildly-exaggerated and totally convincing claims made in the last poem, 'Chicken Sutra', completed the utter conversion of a formerly-committed chicken-sceptic.(Ross Kightly, Sphinx)
Photograph credit - Terry Ife