The North Recommends: Poetry Book Society
Here’s our roundup of the hottest new poetry releases to read this Summer:
Girls are Coming Out of the Woods by Tishani Doshi (Bloodaxe)
Welsh-Gujarati poet and dancer Tishani Doshi transports us to summer in Madras and exotic climes with an edge, tackling the over-romanticism of monsoons and violence against women with an unflinching eye. Published by the North-East based Bloodaxe, this is powerful and essential reading in the wake of #MeToo.
Nowhere Nearer by Alice Miller (Pavilion)
A striking debut which circles around cities and seasons, past and present. Miller maps and remaps the fallout of a break up, documenting remembering and “seven types of forgetting”, always with an eye to the sky, where fragments of light fall through trees or “a magnificent storm is coming”. This is trans-continental flânerie, in which stories of cities and selves, real or imagined, shift in and out of focus. The perfect companion to your own summery weekend wanders: “That summer / The unseasonable feeling of something approaching”.
The Displaced Children of Displaced Children by Faisal Mohyuddin (Eyewear)
This first collection by a Chicago based poet and “child of immigrants from Pakistan” gives voice to displaced migrant narratives and those erased by exile. Each poem negotiates “the inheritance of grief”, the heartache of history and the difficulty of becoming a “true American”. His urgent cry for humanity is more necessary than ever: “Surely the orphan can / Ask at dusk for water / And get more than spit”.
Isn’t Forever – Amy Key (Bloodaxe)
Our Summer Wild Card Choice by Amy Key, who grew up in the North East, plays with the symbolism of sea and the slipperiness of selves: “I waited for the sea to notice me / But the sea never notices anyone.” So head to the beach with your copy and “tell me where the sea ends and the sky begins”!