This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Thirlmere’ by Rhiannon Hooson from 100 Poems to Save the Earth.
Our climate is on the brink of catastrophic change. 100 Poems to Save the Earth invites us to fine-tune our senses, to listen to the world around us, pay attention to what we have been missing. The defining crisis of our time is revealed to be fundamentally a crisis of perception. For too long, the earth has been exploited. With its incisive Foreword from editors Zoë Brigley and Kristian Evans, this landmark anthology is a call to action to fight the threat facing the only planet we have.
This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Autumn’ by Rhiannon Hooson from her collection The Other City.
Rhiannon Hooson’s debut collection The Other City was shortlisted for the Roland Mathias Prize. Sharply focused, beautifully resonant, and deeply felt, these poems reference and re-make narratives from classical Greek myth, while others rework elements of Welsh history, ancient and modern.
Our Friday Poem this week is Rhiannon Hooson’s ‘How Women Are Not The Same’, from her debut poetry collection, The Other City.
‘Hooson’s style is thoughtful, questioning, reflective, and consistently restrained. Her collection gives the impression of having come together over a long period, with each piece earning its place’ – Orbis
The Other City offers us elegant, artful verse of precision and insight. This is a poet that can re-imagine scenes from Greek myth, from Welsh history, and make them as urgent and compelling as her poems about personal relationships. ‘How Women Are Not The Same’ is one such personal poem – in which memories are conjured, and intimacies wound tight around strands of hair.
The Other City offers us elegant, artful verse of precision and insight. Sharply focused, beautifully resonant, deeply felt, these poems tend to travel in distinct streams: characters like Zeus, Narcissus, Ariadne, and Ganymede sit alongside reworkings of Welsh history, both ancient and modern. Other poems explore the idea of otherness and the uncanny, where actions are done and undone, and the familiar made unfamiliar.
This is a poet who can re-imagine scenes from Greek myth, from Welsh history, and make them as urgent and compelling as her poems about personal relationships.
About The Other City: Rhiannon Hooson is a gifted young poet born in mid-Wales and currently living in the Welsh Marches. The Other City is her debut collection of poems.
Sharply focused, beautifully resonant, deeply felt, these poems tend to travel in distinct streams: some reference and re-make narratives from classical Greek myth; others explore the idea of otherness and the uncanny, where actions are done and undone, and the familiar made unfamiliar. ‘This is a beguiling debut from a poet who already has a recognizable voice and emotional register. Sensuous, musical, darkly involved, the poems make and confound their own realities.’ – Graham Mort
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Last night, we welcomed a chilly December in Chapter Arts, with Rhiannon Hooson reading poems from her debut collection, The Other City. It seemed appropriate to have Friday’s Poem from this beguiling new release, for those who missed out.
With a sharp focus and beautiful resonance, the deeply felt poems from The Other City tend to travel in distinct streams: some reference and re-make narratives from classical Greek myth; some rework elements of Welsh history, both ancient, and modern. There are also a number of poems exploring the idea of otherness and the uncanny, where actions are done and undone, and the familiar made unfamiliar.
The lack of his blindness shocks the silver water black.
Your palm’s slap against its surface is looped silence:
bare shoulders with their heron stoop,
the wet ropes of your black hair, the empty water
and the stiff-leafed lilies which break for sharp fingers,
their pink throats silent and smiling. Speak.
Over the water the red rock leans and watches.
Your nails like fish-scales break against
the cool shadow of its noon, and the silence. Speak.
Even the fish have voices, even the rough
hush of the trees, even the birds.You press your body
to the dark-loomed sediment and learn its silence, touch the red
heat of your mouth to the rock and learn the syllables
of its unspeech. Speak.
Birds watch you writing the mangled sign of your name
wet hair strung across the tangled mats of cress,
white fingers and their fish-belly pallor, your white lips
kissed against the petals of the lilies.You can speak
their silence back to them so well, so well.