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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
ISBN: 978 1 784107 23 9
Categories: 21st Century, British, Women
Imprint: Northern House
Published: April 2019
216 x 135 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
In Girl, Rebecca Goss considers the emotional and physical connections women make to the world around them. The poems interrogate and celebrate female identity and experience, and the dynamics of family and friendship.
Girl picks up where Goss’s acclaimed second collection, Her Birth—a work of ‘immense grace’ (Poetry London)—left off, and opens onto new territory. It is an authentic study of girlhood, and it deals candidly with the physical and mental quakes that follow illness and trauma. From a woman struck by lightning to a baby who understands shadows, Goss navigates the real and the imagined with equal flair. At the heart of the collection is a distinctive, sensual series of poems responding to the work of the artist Alison Watt: the result is a fearless exploration of the female body and female desire.
'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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