Poetry Book Society Recommendation
The poems in New Wings focus on many different kinds of beginnings. Drawn both from new poems as well as from two earlier collections, the book gives a fresh airing to the poetry of a talented writer whose work has been unavailable for many years.
The ‘new wings’ in this wide-ranging selection can be the pages of a comic in a child’s eureka moment of learning to read or those of a woman transforming herself into flames to leap across the hemispheres like a forest fire. These are poems of living through and coming to terms with changes – sometimes momentous or traumatic – and moving on into the future. In them, the reader travels from Scotland to Stockholm, the Californian desert, New York, rural Pennsylvania, Venice, Constanta, the Blue Mountains, Sydney and Tyneside.
Robyn Bolam’s previous two collections appeared under her married name, Marion Lomax: The Peepshow Girl (1989) and Raiding the Borders (1996). Her anthology Eliza’s Babes: four centuries of women’s poetry in English was published by Bloodaxe in 2005.
‘There is calm acceptance of mystery; there is precise observation… and carefully sustained metaphor…and in all of this, there is the poet's trust in her own perceptions, which are at once wordily and otherworldly.’ – Lavinia Greenlaw & Alan Jenkins, PBS Bulletin, on New Wings
‘The new poems pulse with determined affirmation and renewal… humour and lush detail merge with…poems of unusual intelligence and historical sensitivity.’ – Todd Swift, Poetry Review, on New Wings
‘I find myself torn between anticipating the next poem and not wishing to leave the comfort of the one which I have just read. But then I do, and I am never disappointed.’ – Daniel Thomas Moran, Poetry Salzburg, on New Wings
‘Compelling and accomplished…a poet of unusual talent.’ – Bernard O’Donoghue, The Times Literary Supplement, on The Peepshow Girl
‘Neither old-fashioned nor new-fangled, but abiding and spiritual.' – Peter Porter, Observer, on The Peepshow Girl
‘She displays a range of emotion and characterisation with both versatility and understanding…These are poems I will gladly return to again and again without fear of disappointment.’ – Richard Jones, Poetry Wales, on Raiding the Borders
‘All credit to Bloodaxe for bringing this quiet, reclusive talent out into the light’ – Stephen Knight, London Magazine, on Raiding the Borders
‘A focussed and stylish collection by a writer confident in the universal appeal of her message… This was my favourite…because it seemed to have been written by the poet most at ease with herself and least self-conscious about her art’ – Alison Combes, Poetry Review, on Raiding the Borders