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How to burn a woman | Bloodaxe Books
claire-askew-How-to-burn-a-woman

Claire Askew

How to burn a woman

Claire Askew

Publication Date : 21 Oct 2021

ISBN: 9781780375724

Pages: 65
Size :216 x 138mm
Rights: World

Claire Askew’s electrifying second collection is an investigation of power: the power of oppressive systems and their hold over those within them; the power of resilience; the power of the human heart. It licks flame across the imagination, and rewrites narratives of human desire. It is a collection for anyone who has ever run through their life ‘backwards/ in the dark,/ with no map’ – these bright poems illuminate the way.

How to burn a woman throngs with witches, outsiders, and women who do not fit the ordinary moulds of the world. It is a collection which traces historic atrocities, and celebrates the lives of those accused of witchcraft with empathy, tenderness and rage. It lifts a mirror up to contemporary systems of oppression and, in language that is both vivid and accessible, asks hard questions of our current world.

These poems also delve deep into love in all its forms: from infatuations to the bitter ending of relationships. They ask what it is we want, how we might go about getting it, and what its cost might be.

How to burn a woman sweeps the world up in its arms and presents it: a rough bonfire of London buses, Salem streets, Edinburgh closes. Askew’s astute, incisive language lifts from every page, throwing sparks.

‘Finding a conduit to her own re-definition of womanhood in the form of the embattled seventeenth century witch, Askew establishes a kind of archetype of suffering. Intersecting her narrative thread with poems of pain, recalcitrance, defiance and abject fear, her ‘testimonies’ are sometimes delivered in the voices of the lost, precisely as they act to reinforce her own sense of identification with their memory… Claire Askew’s collection is a vigorously honest prosecution of grievance, a needful resetting of cultural history, and a triumph of resilience.’ – Steve Whitaker, The Yorkshire Times, on How to burn a woman

'These poems are an elegy against forgetting.' - Layla Benitez-James, Harriet Reviews, Poetry Foundation, on How to burn a woman

‘Bloodaxe has just announced the exciting second collection from Dr Claire Askew, How to burn a woman. Through poems of witches and outsiders, of women who lived on the fringes of ordinary, Askew dives into an exploration of love with her incisive language, poetic tenderness and electric rage.’ – Beth Cochrane, The Skinny (Scottish Poetry Picks for October 2021)

‘Since her first poetry collection This changes things was published in 2016, Askew has been busy establishing herself as a brilliant crime writer… and now returns to poetry with this searing collection of spells, power and love.’ – The Bookseller [on Claire Askew’s second collection How to burn a woman]

‘In this book of spells, Askew stirs together smart, modern poems about whisky, heartbreak and male-female relationships with a darker sequence about our “foremothers” who were persecuted as witches. How to burn a woman is full of hard-won wisdom and beauty. The vibe is Kim Addonizio joins a coven.’ – Clare Pollard

 

Claire Askew reads from How to burn a woman at the Bloodaxe online launch

Claire Askew read poems from How to burn a woman at a Bloodaxe online launch event shared with George Szirtes and Annemarie Austin whose three collections were all published in October 2021. At the end of readings Bloodaxe editior Neil Astley hosted a discussion between Claire and George about their new books.

 

Ireland & EU: Click here to order from Books Upstairs in Dublin

USA: Click here to order from Indiebound or Bookshop.org

  

BOOKS BY Claire Askew

This changes things

Claire Askew

This changes things

Publication Date : 25 Feb 2016

Read More   amazon.co.uk

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Related News & Publicity

News & Publicity


Claire Askew on BBC Radio 4's Start the Week

Claire Askew on BBC Radio 4's Start the Week

Claire Askew was a guest on Start the Week discussing witches and her second collection How to burn a woman: 6 December 2021. Online reviews in The Yorkshire Times & P...

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Claire Askew Readings

Claire Askew Readings

Claire Askew's joint live-streamed launch of her second collection on 16 September 2021 is now on YouTube.

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Launch reading by Claire Askew, Annemarie Austin and George Szirtes

Launch reading by Claire Askew, Annemarie Austin and George Szirtes

Joint live-streamed launch reading by Claire Askew, Annemarie Austin and George Szirtes on 19 October 2021 is now on YouTube.

Read More  |  View All

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