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A Marginal Sea
Categories: 21st Century, British, Welsh, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (84 pages)
(Pub. Oct 2022)
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Oct 2022)
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Shortlisted for the Wales Poetry Book of the Year Award 2023
A Marginal Sea is written from the vantage point of Ynys Môn/Anglesey, which is both on the edge of Wales and in a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean – the island is imagined here as a site of archipelagic connection with other places and histories, where the spaces of dream and digital technology are interwoven with the everyday. Skoulding's poems take their readers into new worlds: we come to terms with the oystercatcher's 'muscle of belonging'; we chart the cross-cultural coordinates of 'Newborough Warren with Map of Havana' ('and it's this way to the Malecón /to look out over the Menai Strait'); elegy and song overlap in moving poems which think through how we remember and misremember: 'it's my voice // deepening with others that won't let themselves / be buried.' ('Anecdote for the Birds'). A Marginal Sea is inventive, exhilarating in its soundscapes, and brilliantly awake to otherness, in language, and in the animal and natural world.
Awards won by Zoë Skoulding Short-listed, 2023 The Wales Poetry Book of the Year Award
(A Marginal Sea)
'The language of these poems is muscular, mineral; the speaker is an adventurer, coursing through real and imagined land- and seascapes. The questions silently raised, the variety and skill of the forms, the originality of the poet's thinking, these are heartening despite the enormous threats to our shared reality.'
Kay Syad, ARTEMISpoetry
'A Marginal Sea is interested in peripheries, the obscure, the unnoticed and the unknowable. The analogy with poetry - this peripheral, strange form of saying - is unavoidable, and Skoulding explores the analogy with panache and perspicacity... It is clever, but it is also pleasurable as poetry, and its theory arises from within.'
Joey Connolly, Poetry Review
'Zoë Skoulding's magisterial new book A Marginal Sea offers us a pentathlon of innovative forms in which we find expressionist typography, haibun, calendrical prognostications, a poignant soliloquy by the bird-haunted Odysseus, and striking passages of sheer lyric beauty:
This is a book that makes you feel, as it lengthens your wingspan, glad to be alive.''Zoë Skoulding's poetry is meditative, a drawing aside of curtains to allow a scene to be discovered to the reader: it seems like an act of instant as if a light is suddenly turned brightly focused upon a moment. This is a poetry to go back to time and time again.'
Ian Brinton, Tears in the Fence
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