Carcanet Press Logo
Quote of the Day
Carcanet Press is our most courageous publisher. When you look at what they have brought out since their beginnings, it makes so many other houses seem timid or merely predictable.
Charles Tomlinson

Crossing the Mirror Line

Judith Willson

Crossing the Mirror Line
10% off all versions
Categories: 21st Century, British, First Collections, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (80 pages)
(Pub. Oct 2017)
9781784104993
£9.99 £8.99
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Oct 2017)
9781784105006
£7.99 £7.19
eBook (Kindle)
(Pub. Oct 2017)
9781784105013
£7.99 £7.19
To use the EPUB version, you will need to have Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) installed on your device. You can find out more at https://www.adobe.com/uk/solutions/ebook/digital-editions.html. Please do not purchase this version if you do not have, or are prepared to install, Adobe Digital Editions.
Amazon LogoOr, buy the Kindle version directly from Amazon
  • Description
  • Author
  • Reviews
  • Crossing the Mirror Line explores doubleness, the unsettling symmetries of mirrored reflections, the magician’s disorientating art that ‘makes nothing appear’. Artists’ mannequins and watchful children stand at an angle to the familiar-seeming world; an estuary blurs distinctions between land and sea.

    Like the eighteenth-century artists’ landscape mirror that reconfigured the relationship between the viewer and what is viewed, the poems in Judith Willson’s first collection are concerned with the very act of looking, how it selects and transforms what is seen. Their landscapes are borders and boundaries, places shaped by the persistence of a past which still presses close to the surface, its meanings as unstable as the play of light. Objects disclose stories of their travel through ‘peopled time’: poems ‘reach through thick folds into pockets / for a letter or a glove’.
    Judith Willson has worked as a teacher and in publishing. Her work was featured in Carcanet’s New Poetries VI and her first collection, Crossing the Mirror Line, was published by Carcanet in 2017. She grew up in London and Manchester and now lives in the Yorkshire Pennines. ... read more
    'It is a poetry of settlement, of attending to the artistic voices including your own, and contemplating their artefacts as is only possible in a civilised condition. How it might view such things as governmental cruelty or the history of brutality, is suggested through the careful development of figurative language.'
    Peter Riley, Fortnightly Review
     'She gets everything right: beautiful, fulsome vocabulary, arresting images, and perfect control of tone and metre. She is thoughtful and exact. These poems have clearly seen many reworkings. I'm reading this book greedily...I know I'll come back to it again.'
    Charlotte Wetton, The Kindling Journal
    'Judith Willson's taut, meditative, richly imagined debut collection ... is an on-going interplay between a speaking us and a silent them, between multiple artworks and their multiple subjects: not just one single crossing of the mirror line, but several.'
    Stephen Grace, Eborakon
    Judith's poem 'A Bone Flute' from her debut collection Crossing the Mirror Line was Guardian Poem of the Week on 8th January 2018
     'Judith Willson's poetry takes us, in a dazzling flow of images, to lives which have the solidity of Central European fairytale with all the frightening reality of history behind them. Richly inventive in form and precise in tone, this is an amazingly assured debut collection.'
    Elaine Feinstein

    Praise for Judith Willson 'This atmospheric collection shows how history can be brought to life. One individual, though forgotten in time, is remembered through Willson's thoughtful poetry and prose'

    Sue Wallace-Shaddad, The Alchemy Spoon

    'The collection is pervaded by a profound sense of the unknowability of the past, but its vitality nonetheless... an extraordinary poetic meditation'

    Anatomies of Power, Christopher Smith

    'There's a real fluidity, a real haunting, a real fairy tale-like feeling to this collection... Beautiful on every level. I just loved it.'

    Jasmine Reads, YouTube

    'Fleet is an important book: it seeks to recover lost voices and sharpen our awareness of imperial cruelty and exploitation, while unveiling a future in which the once most powerful species is itself endangered ... Willson is the kind of writer who has a gift for bringing research alive, and infuses sparse facts with mystery and pathos.'

    Carol Rumens, The Guardian where The Human Voice from a Distance was Poem of the Week w/c 1st March 2021

Share this...
The Carcanet Blog John Gallas: The Extasie read more Roped to Catullus: Isobel Williams read more New Poetries VIII: Vahni Capildeo on Padraig Regan read more Louise Glck: On Realism read more Padraig Regan: NPVIII: Meet the Contributor read more Bare Writing: Martina Evans read more
Find your local bookshop logo
Arts Council Logo
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2021 Carcanet Press Ltd