This second collection from one of Britain's most innovative poets is an exploration of identity in the face of loss. At its heart is a series of poems about the desolation of miscarriage. These poems try to understand the many different means we use to come closer to articulating, and avoiding, experience. Drawing on the language of comedy, improvisation, drag and clown, Low interrogates humour’s role in enacting the possibility of change. A thought-provoking, irreverent and challenging book, Low exemplifies Chrissy Williams' ability to find 'seriousness in the apparently trivial and ephemeral' (Poetry Review).
Chrissy Williams' first collection Bear (Bloodaxe) was one of The Telegraph's 50 Best Books of the Year in 2017. She has also published several pamphlets, one of which was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award. Low is her second full-length collection.
'With an exquisite ear, Chrissy Williams selects thrown-away phrases and builds them into ingenious, painful, funny and illuminating mechanisms that move in ways you don’t expect them to. The best new poetry that you will read this year.' — Alan Moore [on Low]
'Laced with pop culture, from Kesha to Fleetwood Mac... Chrissy Williams’ second collection, Low published by Bloodaxe Books is a spinning Ferris wheel of sardonic improvisation and deep exploration... Williams commits no sins. The relationship between poetry and improvisation is a worthy probe and executed with a light and beautiful heart. Williams plays with time well and entertains better than most sketch comedy because there is no fear in prodding pain into hope. No forced jokes. Zero boredom. Layers of insight. Refreshing, adept, luminous, Low by Chrissy Williams deserves an ovation and hopefully many encores.' - DM O'Connor, RHINO
'This is a playful, expansive poetics, with language that zings and delights...It takes great skill and vision to create poems that combine humour and pathos while highlighting the materiality and malleability of language...Like all great creative acts, the poems in Low often combine unlike elements to create something new.' - Marcus Slease, Tears in the Fence
Praise for Bear:
'Chrissy Williams is my new favourite poet.' – Luke Kennard.
’There is a profundity and care of phrasing here which is completely persuasive ... [a] 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 opening a new space for British experimental poetry ... with its generosity towards the reader via a light touch and warm experimentalism.' – Marcus Slease, Shearsman
'A pleasure in pluralism.' – Richard O'Brien, Poetry London
'In spite of its almost absurdist character and apparent playfulness, [this] is a collection of poems that deal with all that is most serious in human life.' – Annie Freud
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