rvs_250x250Ruth Sharman is an English poet based in Bath. Her poems have appeared in a number of anthologies, and in national newspapers and magazines.

Scarlet Tiger, winner of the 2016 Straid Collection Award, is Ruth Sharman’s second full length collection of poetry and is published by Templar.

Her first collection, Birth of the Owl Butterflies, was published by Picador, and the title poem won second prize in the Arvon International Poetry Competition. The poem also appears on one of the International Baccalaureate’s English exam papers.

Ruth’s poems have featured on Radio 4’s Something Understood, The Song Inside (broadcast along with an interview in January 2015), and in a short film by Jesse Lawrence entitled Borderlands, part of a sequence exploring the theme of special places, and the relationship between place, inspiration and art.

Ruth read Modern Languages at Cambridge and went on to publish a PhD under the title The Cansos and Sirventes of the Troubadour Giraut de Borneil.

She lives with her son and works as a freelance editor and French translator.

The White Garden

I’m going to rip out the iceberg roses,
the rocket whose sweetness,
after dark, attracts the moths,
the Madonna lilies and myrtle
and pale bleeding hearts;
inject the heat of marigolds
and blowsy orange poppies
and plant that rose as black
as a woman’s blood before it flows.
I’ll call a truce with aphids
and the choking fronds of creepers,
stop cutting back the nettles
and cleaning out the pond.
I’ll let the sycamore saplings grow
until they’re giants against the sun,
and leeches breed in damp places
among the leaves, and snakes thick
as a man’s arm infest the trees.
There’ll be no peace: the air
will be full of rustlings and cries.
And in the twilight of the underforest
I’ll be there, waiting for you
with my pipe and poison darts.

(from Birth of the Owl Butterflies, Picador, 1997)



In Borderlands, a short film by Jesse Lawrence, Ruth Sharman walks to an unassuming Neolithic Long Barrow, on the way revealing the themes that inform her work.

Watch the film on Vimeo here