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Categories: 21st Century, British, Women
Imprint: Northern House
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (80 pages)
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Shortlisted for the 2019 East Anglian Book (Poetry) Award
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. 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.
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)
'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.'
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
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