Significant Other

Isabel Galleymore

£9.99

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Carcanet Press Ltd
28 March 2019
ISBN: 9781784107116
Paperback

From the publisher

Shortlisted for the 2020 Seamus Heaney First Collection Prize. Shortlisted for the 2020 John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize. Shortlisted for The 2019 Forward (Felix Dennis) Prize for Best First Collection. The Telegraph's Poetry Book of the Month March 2019. A Telegraph Book of the Year 2019. In her first book of poems, Isabel Galleymore takes a sustained look at the 'eight million differently constructed hearts' of species currently said to inhabit Earth. These are part of the significant other of her title; so too are the intimacies - loving, fraught, stalked by loss and extinction - that make up a life. The habit of foisting human agendas on non-human worlds is challenged. Must we still describe willows as weeping? In the twenty-first century, is it possible to be 'at one' with nature? The poems reflect on our desire to locate likeness, empathy and kinship with our environments, whilst embracing inevitable difference. As the narratives belonging to animal fables, Doomsday Preppers and climate change deniers are adapted, new metaphors are found that speak of both estrangement and entanglement. Drawing at times from her residency in the Amazon rainforest, Galleymore delves into a world of pink-toed tarantulas, the erotic lives of barnacles, and caged owls that behave like their keepers. The human world revises its own measure in the light of these poems.