Saturday, 11 April 2020
The poet and blogger Chris Edgoose has recently published a wonderful review of my pamphlet Island of Towers on his blog Wood Bee Poet.
You can read the review here: https://woodbeepoet.com/2020/04/02/small-hopes-island-of-towers-by-clarissa-aykroyd/
Chris provided some wonderful insights into the poems, in some cases as individual works, but also how they work together as a whole - "every poem in the pamphlet is a little island in itself, each with its own faint source of light".
I must say that I find it particularly reassuring when readers find that the pamphlet is effective as an entire work, given that the poems were written over several years and in a few cases are quite old. (To go on a bit of a tangent: I recently realised that my pamphlet is in good company as far as having been written over a long period of time, given that the extraordinary and popular recent collections Deaf Republic [Ilya Kaminsky] and In the Lateness of the World [Carolyn Forché] were both written over many years. Not every collection or pamphlet has to be written in a single burst of creativity, folks!)
Anyway, I was particularly struck by this insightful (and poetic) comment from the review: "[I]t feels...as though each poem exists while briefly lit by some central illuminating force (the reader's eyes? the poet's pen?) before disappearing back into the mystery of the unknown." And I was very touched by the concluding comment: "I would recommend this pamphlet above all, in these months during which we are overwhelmed by COVID-19, for the distant lights it provides, the small hopes."
This is the second published review that Island of Towers has received. If you didn't see it before, poet and blogger David Green published a review here: http://davidgreenbooks.blogspot.com/2019/10/clarissa-aykroyd-island-of-towers.html
One of my favourite comments in this review was: "As a translator as much as a poet in English, Clarissa is internationalist in outlook. The world doesn't end at the border of a country and poetry doesn't stop at the borders of language."
A reminder: you can purchase Island of Towers directly from the publishers, Broken Sleep Books, here: https://www.brokensleepbooks.com/product-page/clarissa-aykroyd-island-of-towers
I also have copies for sale myself, which can be inscribed. Please get in touch if you'd like one of those - through this blog, or another good way to do so is on Twitter, where my handle is @stoneandthestar