'Laura Scott’s So Many Rooms is a confident and intricate collection dealing with relationships and memory. Cognizant of all the angles, alive to the smallest damage, to the bruises left on petals by the rain, Scott is a master of the slant take, the delicate phrasing. Her images both clarify and darken the matter at hand. In Scott’s world, poems are ‘like fish / swimming inside you, / waiting for someone / to tap the glass.”'
- Nick Laird, chair of the judging panel
The Guardian's Poetry Book of the Month August 2019
So Many Rooms, the debut collection from Geoffrey Dearmer Prize-winning poet Laura Scott, moves with its own lyric strangeness, opening up different rooms and also different worlds.
'There can be no doubt at all that this is an exceptional piece of work. Scott has the capacity to capture drama in a small number of words, neatly arranged. Her poetry, in this way, is the quintessence of poetry. Her clarity, concision and quiet ambiguity are yardsticks against which I find myself measuring other poets. Its confidence and its consistency both suggest a poet who has arrived. She offers a comprehensive vision. We are watching a poet composing at the height of her powers. It's not even September yet, but I suspect it might be my poetry book of the year.'
- Joe Darlington, Manchester Review of Books
'I couldn't put it down and have kept returning to these poems, drawn in - and on - by their beauty and clarity. Her lyricism is like shot silk - it ripples with light.'
- Kate Kellaway, The Guardian
'These are intimate poems, grounded, yet dreamlike, revealing the beauty, gravity and power at the core of the everyday. They're all the more compelling because it's as if the poems are allowed to make their own discoveries with the poet knowing exactly when to step back, and when and how to intervene.'
- Moniza Alvi
'So Many Rooms is beguiling and lyrically persuasive. Scott's fine formal control and her mesmerising shifts of imagery underpin poems of sensual intelligence, thoughtfulness and poetic beauty.'
- Sasha Dugdale
Speaking about her award, Laura said: "I’m honoured and delighted, actually I’m over the moon, to have won this prize. As it's a first collection prize, I was looking back at my first notebook, the one I bought when I started writing seriously. It has fragments of things I wanted to get into poems, notes to myself, and on the tenth page, this quote from Seamus Heaney: ‘This was the first place where I felt I had done more than make an arrangement of words: I felt that I had let down a shaft into real life. The facts and surfaces of the thing were true, but more important, the excitement that came from naming them gave me a kind of insouciance and a kind of confidence. I didn’t care who thought what about it: somehow, it had surprised me by coming out with a stance and an idea that I would stand over.’
“I never met Seamus Heaney, but here he was saying exactly what I needed to hear. He pinpointed the precise sense in which writing poems is doing something bigger than yourself. It is not just you and the words.”