The lively ‘bears’ in this playful and poignant collection will surprise you on every page. They are poems of love and death, life, loss and grief. The ephemera of popular culture is used to confront mortality, and you’ll be transported from the British Library to the Alps to the International Space Station, along with a vibrant cast of Vikings, videogames and Angela Lansbury. From the ludicrous to the domestic, these profound, wry and very real bears affirm that hope may be found even in our darkest moments.
Chrissy Williams has published several pamphlets, one of which was shortlisted for a Michael Marks Award. Bear was her first book-length collection.
‘In her inventive, goofy, oddly moving debut, this poet hears a mysterious voice that “exists to put bears in your head”. It’ll put them in yours, too.’ – The Daily Telegraph (Christmas Books 2017)
'The collection is a menagerie full of animals and games and experiments.... The madness and plurality of modern life, and of being alive at all, pulses through these poems – but the collection seems to lean into it, being fixed very firmly in the world. ' - Oxford Poetry Library on Bear, their Book of the Month for August 2021
’There is a profundity and care of phrasing here which is completely persuasive. The interest in the unknown runs through the volume from ghost websites to distant galaxies. A single-sentence prose poem [‘Four Hours Away’] epitomises Bear’s sense of wonder and the rare combination of wit and sensitivity that is the hallmark of Williams’s style.’ – Tim Dooley, The Poetry Review
‘Chrissy Williams is my new favourite poet. These poems are as close and intimate as a bear breathing down your neck, about to take you in its arms or tear you limb from limb; as strange and unexpected as a bear playing the piano and as beautiful and inexplicable as love.’ – Luke Kennard
'In spite of its almost absurdist character and apparent playfulness, Chrissy Williams's Bear is a collection of poems that deal with all that is most serious in human life. From start to finish, these wonderfully various, entertaining and original poems speak the language of compassion, intimacy and faith.' – Annie Freud
‘A pleasure in pluralism.’ – Richard O'Brien Poetry London
‘Chrissy Williams is... not only making it new: she is making it vital.’ – Marcus Slease, Shearsman
‘Fasten your seatbelts. Something powerful is taking off here.’ – Christie Williamson Sphinx