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 Studio Chair

(after a painting by Sara Lee Roberts)

Take away the chair
and we’re left with abstraction,
an empty universe stripped
like Dawkins’ of the possibility
of transcendence;

the chair reassures us:
in a downstairs room, it says,
someone is playing the piano
or laying a table, writing a note,
and it’s only a matter of time

before these uprights curve
into the small of a human back;
there are noises-off –
voices from the street, perhaps,
or footsteps on the stairs –

and what we’re seeing
is just a pause in the action,
an abandoned prop
from the world of Post-It notes
and piano lessons, stranded

in a pool of light
from an unseen window,
as if the stillness concealed
some invisible presence
and sunshine itself were the sitter.



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