Susan Wicks’ poetry transforms the apparently ordinary into something precise, surprising and revelatory. These new poems are a departure for her, exploring the cracks in our experience – between movement and stasis, the everyday reality that surrounds us and what we perceive of it, between what our bodies experience and what can or can’t be captured in paint or ink.
Many of the poems are about escaping – in a car loaded with stolen meat or in the de-iced plane of the title – an escape that takes us first to the snow-bound world of the central MacDowell Winter sequence, and then, in her seriously playful Graham Mickleworth poems, in search of the now-you-see-them-now-you-don’t family of a fictional painter. For running away is also running towards, even a kind of pilgrimage, to a place where art and experience, past and future, merge and find ways to survive.
‘A poet of deceptive power, who can transmute everyday objects and events into poems with an understated numinous edge' – Kathleen Jamie, PBS Bulletin.
‘A fine poet, with an eye for detail and a gift for conveying the earthiness of everyday experience’ – Jo Shapcott, Independent on Sunday.
‘Few poets writing today go into [family, its personal ties and sorrows] in so detailed and tender a way. Or so frighteningly’ - Alan Brownjohn, Sunday Times.
‘Wicks remains [at her best when] attentive to the curious mechanical details of modern life, juxtaposing them with its magical transformation scenes’ - John Greening, Times Literary Supplement.
Susan Wicks reads eight poems
Susan Wicks reads eight poems: 'Ha Ha Bonk', 'Buying Fish', 'The Clever Daughter', 'Persephone', 'My Father's Handkerchiefs' and 'Night Toad' from Night Toad: New & Selected Poems (2003), followed by two poems from her 2011 collection House of Tongues, 'Pistachios' and 'Cycling to See the Fish-ladder'. Pamela Robertson-Pearce filmed Susan Wicks at the Arvon Foundation's centre at Totleigh Barton in Devon in November 2009.