This month we have been mostly reading Seal Wife by Kitty Coles (Indigo Dreams Press). This book is full of bones and skin, owls, maggots, skulls and flesh. A slightly surreal invitation to inhabit the body of the poet. Most of the poems are addressed to someone directly…maybe a lover, a husband, a child, and you get a sense of eavesdropping on something very intimate. The language is rich, the images from myths and folk tales unsettling, and the overall effect is captivating. It certainly made a huge impression on me and I can see why it won the Indigo Dreams pamphlet competition. For a taste of her style, Kitty’s poem Anosmia was our Editor’s Choice poem in August this year, and her debut book should be considered for your Christmas list.
I immediately fell in love with Melanie Branton’s poems when we published Intermediate Polish, and more recently her poem Castles prompted a slew of positive feedback from readers. So I bought the book, My Cloth-Eared Heart from Oversteps Books. Melanie describes herself as a performance poet, but I have to say that as someone who has never seen her perform I believe these poems work equally well on the page. What strikes me most is the inventive use of metaphor and the very cleverness of the writing – it really stimulates the mind as well as the emotions and I’m delighted the book lived up to its promise.