AN ACUPUNCTURIST who writes poems in her spare time has won four prizes in a year.

Vanessa Lampert, 57, from Wallingford is an alternative therapist, but lockdown allowed her to reveal her poetic flare.

She said she started writing poetry seriously once her her children had grown up.

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Ms Lampert said: “I found that I did not want to stop writing poetry once I started writing it. It was a place I wanted to stay”

Ms Lampert has been writing for almost five years and studied for an MA in poetry writing at Newcastle University, which changed the way she looked at the world.

She said: “When I did the MA there was a demand to produce stuff constantly, so every time something interesting happened you are trying to put it into shape. I probably look at the world in a slightly different way since writing poetry.”

The Wallingford acupuncturist writes about a range of subjects and usually explores people and humour through her modern poetry.

Ms Lampert said: “I think a poem is always a work of fiction, I don’t think it works to just write a story in poetry form I think it has to stand on its own, it has to communicate with people. It is not just a story about your life, a poem is a different thing to that. It is a little artwork in my opinion.”

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In 2020 the poet has been nominated and commended for several prizes and won four.

She came second in the Oxford Brookes University international poetry competition, first in the Cafe Writers and Ver prizes and second in the Fish prize.

She said: “So many people enter, I have been really delighted. Lockdown was a big thing for me because when lockdown came it meant I could not work as an acupuncturist and I had a lot more time to write.”

The poet launched a poetry magazine in lockdown called The Alchemy Spoon with a coleague from her MA and also wrote the poem ‘Isolation’ in lockdown.


Our quality of air is elevated, our quiet

more quiet than easy. When did it last rain?

A voice inside the fridge says what, you again?

My daughter sends a photo from farther than she is,

peeling an orange, fierce light in her hair.

Mum, I watched a grey bird write infinity on the sky,

and missed you.

Onscreen my mother is small,

she asks for, a pork chop, tinned peaches, spring greens,

and wine if you’re coming. Are you coming? I’m not coming.

Outside, the river nudges her birds and boats

as a weary mother rocks her baby with one hand.

Emboldened muntjacs enter town to feast

on buds of pink and purple tulips, sparing none.

I call to complain to my Mum. Same here.

Order me a gun on Amazon.

I can’t remember when I last touched someone.