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Student New Angle Prize longlist entry by Jeremy Evans - The afternoon walk

8 MARCH 2021 - NATASHA - STUDENT LIFE

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Deep, thick furrowed earth like chocolate. New shoots of winter wheat glistening in low sunlight. This is Suffolk. Fields up and down, hazed sky as blue as Turkish waters.

Our boots are heavy with clay. Rusty the Labrador hunts, sniffs, stops and snuffles.

A pheasant cries and flies – all flapping wings and bluster.

Rusty’s tail wags happily. Satisfied that the pheasant has been rudely outed, he follows a different scent.

A scattering of trees. A see-through hedge. A raptor on a telephone pole, secretive calmness in the sky, she follows our progress.

A car on a road – an annoying addition – finally fades into the distance.

The sea now. Grey and muddy – I know it to be so, so shallow. Calm and flat, a lazy drift southward. White-gold reflections stab my eye.

I stop to take it in and snap pictures on my phone.

Further on is the pub. There will be a fire and an Adnams. If we’re allowed in, what with lockdown, we’ll finish there.

A horse in a field comes to nuzzle. It snorts and shakes its head. Steam rises. I put out a hand to stroke his nose but he shies his head away.

My wife answers an urgent message – email, text or WhatsApp, I’m not sure.

I pass through a kissing gate and the dog gets stuck and is told off.

‘Haven’t you learned how these work, yet?’

He slinks like Fagin and soon forgets.

Our hands are cold, but even so my wife is restored.

The sun is getting lower.

A line of wispy cloud is building and it has captured the sun’s heat.

I can see the pub. And, sprayed with mud, our car.

And I can imagine thirstily the pint that’s calling.

The light has dulled. Purple cloud passes the late sun. Long shadows form, intense yellow burns softly on the chocolate earth. I am in danger of beauty.

Dog on the lead.

‘You first.’

Inside it’s warm, and bright electric light recalibrates my eye.

Inside, it brings the walk to an end.

- Jeramy Evans

Image by Mikes-Photography from Pixabay 

 

Student New Angle Prize

The Student New Angle Prize is a competition partnered with the New Angle Prize for Literature, a national book award for published authors. SNAP is an annual event and offers all students of the University of Suffolk the chance to enter by submitting 500 words of original writing as prose or poetry. Like the New Angle Prize, all entries must either be set in or clearly influenced by our East Anglian region. 

The SNAP competition gives offers a chance to hear new voices in the region and encourages students to add to the literary representations of the region which continue to make East Anglia such an important place for art and literature and poetry. Every year a different judge is invited to join the panel. For this year the judge is honorary graduate, novelist and actress Esther Freud.  

Twelve writers from courses across the University have been longlisted for the SNAP Writing Awards 2021. The shortlist will be announced on 10th March. The winner and runner up will be announced 19th March.

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