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Christina Thatcher

More than you were

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Shortlisted for the Bare Fiction Debut Poetry Collection Competition 2015 judged by Andrew McMillan



She said there must be a link 
between feathers and fathers  
Told me she’d plucked 
a slim one from her hair 
the day after her father hung
himself. It was brown with flecks
of white, no doubt from a pigeon
on Albany Road. It was him,
she assured me. He always liked 
to make an entrance.


Lesson #1

The day she severed
the head of a snake

with the toy shovel
I used in the garden
she turned to me
and said – quiet and strong – that
in order to protect
our family we must sometimes do
unfair and gruesome things.

In July 2013, David Thatcher died of a drug overdose in America. More than you were was written by his daughter, to try to understand what came after. The result is a striking collection of poetry which explores addiction, family politics, childhood memories and grief.

Her short, sharp poems home in on situations to reveal their complex relationship and the challenges she faced after losing him. Thatcher weaves the darkest memories – the murder of pets, the burning down of a childhood home, the blood stains on white tiles – with ones which betray a tenderness and love.

A brave debut, More than you were, explores what it means to lose a father to an addiction and live on.


Christina Thatcher is a PhD student and postgraduate tutor at Cardiff University where she studies how creative writing can impact the lives of people bereaved by addiction. Christina keeps busy off campus too by delivering creative writing workshops across south Wales, running projects for organisations including Making Minds and the Welsh Writers Trust and coordinating literature events for the Made in Roath Festival. Her poetry and short stories have featured in a number of publications including The London Magazine, Planet Magazine, Acumen and The Interpreter’s House.

To learn more about Christina’s work please visit her blog: https:// collectingwords.wordpress.com or follow her on Twitter: @writetoempower.