Winner of the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry
Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award
Sarah Jackson explores the edges of writing in this uncanny book of touch. Tender, haunting, and yet beautifully poised, the poems in Pelt get right under your skin. The collection takes you on an unsettling journey between infancy and adulthood. Slipping from birds to blindness, from hides to hiding, Pelt uncovers the unfamiliar in the everyday.
Pelt is written in the dark. It asks to be read through your fingertips. Striking and elegant, subtle and yet full of desire, this is a brilliant debut.
‘Sarah Jackson’s poems are dark, strange stories, immaculately crafted. Surprising, dextrous, sometimes shocking, they compel the reader into uncertain territory. This is an assured first collection from a cool and original new voice’ – Polly Clark.
‘These poems have a dream-like, hallucinatory quality. Intriguing and mysterious, they transform childhood memory, myth, experiences of place, everything Sarah Jackson draws on for material, into surreal and vivid narratives’ – Vicki Feaver.
‘Sarah Jackson’s Pelt is out on its own. At once peirastic and assured, these are poems of disturbing grace and power. The title-word is already disorientating: a sense of speed and assault goes with the skin and fur of what is, perhaps, not or no longer or no longer only human. Jackson’s poems have a compelling strangeness, uncomfortably intimate and elusive at the same time. You are not sure what distance to occupy in relation to them. It is a poetry of glints and disclosures, by turns gentle and menacing, diurnal and surreal, erotic and deranged. In radical and original fashion, Pelt prompts feelings “we can neither know / nor name”. Here is a new voice, a pelting of voices in English poetry’ – Nicholas Royle.