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Categories: 21st Century, British, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (88 pages)
(Pub. May 2023)
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. May 2023)
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A London Review Bookshop Book of the Year
Rebecca Goss' fourth and most ambitious collection, Latch, is a study in the act of returning. It is about reconnecting to a place, Suffolk, and understanding what it once held, and what it now holds for a woman and her family. These poems unearth the deep, lasting attachments people have with the East Anglian countryside, gathering voices of labour, love, and loss with compelling particularity. The book is various, unpredictable: memory and magic interweave, secrets tangle with myth. As in her earlier books, Goss again draws on her distinctive ability to plough difficult, emotional terrain. Here is an anatomy of marriage, her parents' and her own, while the natural world becomes an arena for the emotional push and pull that exists between mothers and daughters. The return to a childhood home recalls young siblings retreating into nature as they steer the adult lives that disintegrate around them. Readers will find themselves beckoned to barns, fields, weirs, to experience both refuge and disturbance: we are shown a county's stars, and why a poet needed to return to live under them.
Awards won by Rebecca Goss Short-listed, 2019 The East Anglian Book (Poetry) Award (Girl) Winner, 2014 East Anglian Book Awards for Poetry (Her Birth) Short-listed, 2015 The Portico Prize for Literature (Her Birth) Short-listed, 2015 The Warwick Prize for Writing (Her Birth) Short-listed, 2013 The Forward Prize for Best Collection (Her Birth)
'In this beautiful collection, Rebecca Goss weaves together memory and myth... Her writing is lucid and seemingly effortless.'
Louise Warren, London Grip
'Latch, Rebecca Goss' fourth collection is on first reading, rich, thick, and full of complexity, with concentrated ideas and complex strings of imagery... Deep, thoughtful, and affecting.'
Mab Jones, Buzz Mag
'Latch repays several re-readings. The intertwining of themes, memory and the fluidity of time makes for a very evocative collection steeped in a personal discovery of what it means to both re-live and create a sense of home.
Sue Wallace-Shaddad, Alchemy Spoon
'Latch brings us an evocation of the past which avoids the pitfalls of sentimentality or nostalgia. Instead here is something sharp, joyful and interrogating: a bright, taut view of a rural English childhood. Her astute eye lets nothing through as the latch of memory and the blacksmith's making become a vehicle for a poised engagement with the shifting roles of motherhood across time.'
'This collection collapses the boundaries between land and lineage, is filled with portent, vestige, longing. I don't know how it's possible for these poems to be so intimate, yet vast. They beat fiercely with bird-animal-human hearts.'
Praise for Rebecca Goss 'The pieces form a narrative sequence that are variously painful, jealous, hopeful, and tender ... This fine balancing act between emotional and cathartic resulted in the collection being nominated for the 2013 Forward Prize for Best Collection of Poetry. Yet beyond any industry accolades, Her Birth is all about feeling and the grace to accept and move on with life'
Susan Darlington, Spectrum Culture
'Tenderness between mothers and daughters is the collection's keynote . . . graceful, measured and joyous'
Suzannah V. Evans, TLS
'It is clearly with great skill that Goss demonstrates how one can be close to a subject, yet simultaneously far away... Girl can be read as a neutral document of experiences that observe details in the same way that one would collate data points. It is a chronology of moments that neither indicate the speaker's interest or ennui; they are simply pieces of an individual life.'
Sarah-Jean Zubair, Poetry London
'Goss contiunes to mine distinctive terrain which makes the best of her poetry compelling... these poems are impressive for launching seams of intense emotion from so minimalist a source'
Ellen Cranitch, The Poetry Review
'Rebecca Goss's poems have their own sure authority; they are never ostentatious or trendily experimental, and her voice rings out clear, promising always more to come'
Patricia McCarthy, Agenda Ekphrastic Issue
'A passionate, tender, thrilling book.'
'This is a book about human bodies: freckles, fists, itches and that 'private reek'. Graphic, funny and tender, these poems jostle with bodies that swim, jog, fuck, medicate, spin on dodgems, grow up and grow ill. Rebecca Goss captures both the pleasure and the pain. Girl is a quivering, kicking reminder of what it is to be alive.'
'From the first poem about a mother struck by lightning, closely followed by the delicate, intimate and equally astonishing title poem, 'Girl' - the first of a series inspired by Alison Watt's paintings that are threaded throughout this collection - I was totally gripped. Rebecca Goss's voice is quietly passionate. Her forms are exquisitely crafted. Her themes, of human fragility and of our bodies' capacity for pleasure and pain, are universal.'
'The people in these poems are split down the middle - by lightening, by the 'marquise cut' of birth, by love, and yet beauty flies from the breakage, something 'large, planetary'. These are poems of brave surrender to the accident of living, the constant somersault, and regardless of whether the change is huge or tiny - a thunderbolt or an unexpected freckle - it is always fundamental, always shattering, always a thrill.'
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