Winner of The Laurel Prize 2023 Best UK First Collection
Burning Season is a book about fire and survival, climate change and nature’s defiance. Yvonne Reddick’s understanding of climate change is uniquely personal: her father was a petroleum engineer, and many members of her family worked in the fossil fuel industry. The collection speaks of the paradox that her Dad’s gift to her was her love of nature and mountain landscapes. Burning Season includes a series of vivid, moving and heartfelt poems that explore her grief following her father’s death in a hiking accident. These are set against a wider backdrop of ecological loss and heartbreak.
The book combines poems with nature diaries and lyric essays to trace an intriguing family history. It tells the story of a father who worked on North Sea oil platforms and Omani oilfields, and who transported the entire family to Kuwait four years after the first Gulf War. Reddick’s mother worked in seismology, detecting deposits of oil deep below the ground. This family story forms the bedrock of Burning Season.
Here, too, are poems that celebrate nature’s vibrant resilience: planting oak saplings, spotting rare ptarmigan in the Highland winter, imagining life in an underwater city.
Yvonne Reddick’s first book-length collection builds on the achievement of her pamphlets Translating Mountains (Seren, 2017), winner of the Mslexia Women's Pamphlet Competition, and Spikenard (Laureate’s Choice, 2019), which was a poetry recommendation for early 2019 in the London Review of Books. The title poem from Burning Season won third prize in the Ginkgo Prize for Ecopoetry 2022.
‘Reddick takes the deeply personal and maps out a geography of grief, for both father and planet: near and elusive as a hare, distant and huge as an oil rig. Loss illuminates loss, reminding us exactly what it is that we, and our descendants, stand to lose in the face of climate crisis.' - Ellora Sutton, Mslexia, on Burning Season
'This first book-length collection from Reddick is as lyrical as it is defiant. A collection that confronts climate change, a world in flames and societies on the verge of collapse, told through an exploration of family history. This is an incredible exploration of the oil industry.’ – Mairi Oliver of Lighthouse Bookshop, The Bookseller (Scottish books preview), on Burning Season
'Yvonne Reddick's poetry engages with survival on a burning planet, climate loss and nature's defiance ... In her work she explores a deep love of mountains and nature, encouraged from a young age by her petroleum engineer father.' - The Scotsman, Poem of the Week
‘This collection is born of deep feeling and scientific knowledge. Powerful, beautiful poetry in itself, it will also illuminate discussions on the environment and climate change.’ – Frank Startup, The School Librarian, on Burning Season
‘Yvonne Reddick’s much-anticipated Burning Season is a lyrical and personal collection that tackles challenging ecological questions in dextrous and elegantly crafted poems.’ – Will Mackie, New & Recent Poetry from the North, New Writing North
‘Oil and fire run through Scotland-born Yvonne Reddick’s debut, Burning Season, an ecopoetical elegy for a father who worked oil platforms of the North Sea and oil fields across the Middle East ... Reddick captures the paradox of our unbreakable intimacy with this doomed planet through the wit of song and lament.’ - Rebecca Morgan Frank, Harriet Reviews, Poetry Foundation USA
'To have an ecological education, wrote Aldo Leopold, is to live alone in a world of wounds. Yvonne Reddick writes of the natural world in all its wonder, variety, and woundedness. Her poems are precise, beautiful, and clear-eyed acts of witness. They are also calls to action.' – David Morley
'Elegiac, original and memorable, these poems uncover the private maps and ghost-bearings that guide us in the mountains, creating their own vivid geology.' – Helen Mort, on Translating Mountains
‘Reddick sets a sombre music behind the rawness of loss, like a glimpse of her mountains in the distance.’ – PN Review
‘It’s impossible to read this collection without being moved.’ – New Welsh Review
‘This is a beautifully structured pamphlet that offers the reader a deeply felt sufficiency’ – WriteOutLoud
Yvonne Reddick reads from Burning Season at Newcastle Poetry Festival 2023
In this reading at the 2023 Newcastle Poetry Festival, Yvonne Reddick reads five poems from Burning Season: 'The Flower that Breaks Rocks', 'The Gift', 'Burning Season', 'Ptarmigan', 'Rime' and 'Waterland'.
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