Shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection
No Hiding Place is the début collection from a highly original young Scottish poet whose influences range from detective stories and fairy-tales - with their battles between good and evil - to the films of Marilyn Monroe and Kay Kendall. Tracey Herd’s title-poem takes the style of a 1950s film noir, with echoes of Raymond Chandler, pointing up the harsh sense pervading many of her poems that there is no hiding place from death, God and the Day of Judgement.
'Tracey Herd’s strange personal iconography becomes steadily more charged and disturbing as these obsessive, darkly sexual poems accumulate. Terrible chasms seem to lurk beneath even the most innocently domestic of her subjects. These poems clearly compelled themselves to be written. Herd’s work is too close to the source to have been polluted by any of the self-consciousness often the trademark of those fishing the same waters' - Don Paterson.
‘Tracey Herd is a one-off. Though influenced by the emergence of a vibrant and independent new Scottish poetry, she reaches out across cultures and national poetics, projecting a noirish psycho-linguistic drama onto the screen of predictability. She is risky and challenging, and her poems carry a sting in the tail. The twists and turns of her voice, sublimated by others', test the fragility of her readers' perceptions. Persona falls victim to the power of language, the total control of line and rhythm. She is terrifyingly brilliant’ - John Kinsella, Verse
'Many of the characters are vulnerable selves with whom she connects empathetically and sometimes painfully. The poems are multi-layered, a series of tensions exist within them, sometimes explicit, but usually inferred’ – Steve Davies, Poetry Quarterly Review.
'Her book bristles with vibrancy, dark wit and powerful eroticism' - Sunday Times.