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Her Birth

Rebecca Goss

Cover of Her Birth by Rebecca Goss
RRP: GBP£ 9.95
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Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 847772 38 1
Categories: 21st Century, British, Women
Imprint: Northern House
Published: July 2013
80 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (Kindle), eBook (EPUB)
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  •                 ...clover
    with an unlucky lobe,
    the rarest of anomalies
    that would flourish
    and defeat her


    from ‘Foetal Heart’
    Shortlisted for the 2013 Forward Prize for Best Collection 

    Selected for Next Generation Poets 2014 

    In 2007 Rebecca Goss’s newborn daughter Ella was diagnosed with Severe Ebstein’s Anomaly, a rare and incurable heart condition. She lived for sixteen months. Her Birth is a book-length sequence of poems beginning with Ella’s birth, her short life and her death, and ending with the joys and complexities that come with the birth of another child. Goss navigates the difficult territory of grief and loss in poems that are spare, tender and haunting: ‘Going home, back down / the river road, will be a foreign route without her’.


    It must be at once the most painfully personal and the most restrained and sparsely written poetry collection of the year... It's poetry of witness. The language is simple; the images are simple; the feeling is all. It's feeling no one wants to have, and it is handled with immense grace.
    Katy Evans-Bush, Poetry London

    Something close to a poetic journal, the poems are by turns meditative and bewildered, uttered in the quietest of delicately weighted language, as if the failing child and the experience alike could not bear too much pressure or noise. What transformations there are, are tentative and quietly sustained.
    Jane Draycott, Canto

    She [writes] with astonishing success, to which the key is a brilliant sparseness consistently adding up to more than the sum of its parts. Her linguistic tact and her judgement never falter...
    Lawrence Sail, Warwick Review

    The poems have an almost unbearable beauty...
    Peter Kennedy, poetrywivenhoe

    The poems in Her Birth unfold their story of love, loss and grief for a baby daughter with pared-down precision and scorching intensity.
    Helen Dunmore
    Echo
    Fetal Heart
    Room in a Hospital
    Skin-to-Skin
    Toast
    Clinic
    Echo
    Palliative
    A Dream of Heart Babies
    I Sweat When I
    Swings
    Ward at Night
    Severe Ebstein’s Anomaly
    A Child Dies in Liverpool
    Post
    St Mary’s
    Her Birth

    Mining
    The Postmistress
    Honey
    Stretch Marks
    The Highchair
    Print
    Mining
    You’re Lucky You Can Dream About Her
    October
    Muscovado Sugar
    My Neighbour’s Himalayan Birch
    The 21st of March
    Mothers of the Dead
    Found
    Helpline
    The Lights
    Sunday Papers
    Grief Goes Jogging
    Peeing at the Odeon
    Repair
    Another

    Welcome
    Why We Had Another Baby
    Test
    Hyperemesis Gravidarum
    As Owls Do
    Clothes
    Welcome
    Shadows
    My Animal
    Lost
    Bench
    Telling the Tale
    In Memory of John Ernest Goss 1920–2011
    Snail
    Moon
    Taking You There
    Last Poem

    Acknowledgements
    Rebecca Goss was born in 1974 and grew up in Suffolk. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Cardiff University. Her first full length collection, The Anatomy of Structures , was published in 2010 by Flambard Press. She lives in Liverpool, where she taught creative writing at Liverpool John Moores ... read more
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