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Seasonal Disturbances by Karen McCarthy Woolf

Seasonal Disturbances by Karen McCarthy Woolf

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From the publisher:

'A strange and stunning collection from a true writer. Vulnerable, hilarious and wise, Seasonal Disturbances is a darkly humorous exploration of the human condition.'
Young Poet Laureate for London, Warsan Shire


Second Place Winner of the 2020 Laurel Prize for Ecopoetry
A 2017 Poetry Book Society Recommendation


Following her groundbreaking 2014 début An Aviary of Small Birds (‘technically perfect poems of winged heartbreak’ – Observer), Karen McCarthy Woolf returns with Seasonal Disturbances.


Set against a backdrop of ecological and emotional turbulence, these poems are charged yet meditative explorations of nature, the city, and the self. A sinister CEO presides over a dystopian hinterland where private detectives investigate crimes against hollyhocks; Halcyon is discovered as a dead kingfisher, washed up on an Italian beach. Lyrical and inventive, McCarthy Woolf’s poems test classic and contemporary forms, from a disrupted zuihitsu that considers her relationship with water, to the landay, golden shovel, and gram of &.

As a fifth-generation Londoner and daughter of a Jamaican émigré, McCarthy Woolf makes a variety of linguistic subversions that critique the rhetoric of the British class system. Political as they may be, these poems are not reportage: they aim to inspire what the author describes as an ‘activism of the heart, where we connect to and express forces of renewal and love’.

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