Poetry Book Society Recommendation
These intimate, visceral and often wickedly funny poems journey through the darker days of new parenthood, teasing out the anxieties which plague us when night falls. Violence against women, the destruction of our environment, the poisons and pitfalls of 21st-century living are explored here in poems by turns lyrical and earthy, yearning and angry. They mine gold from the darkness and seek luminescence in the deepest oceans.
Pit Lullabies is Jessica Traynor’s third collection, following Liffey Swim (2014) and The Quick (2019) from Ireland’s Dedalus Press.
‘Visionary, luminous and haunted, Jessica Traynor’s poems are home to a host of compelling characters: witches, changelings, the spirit of Hildegard of Bingen. In The Quick, even the grotesque is rendered with subtle delicacy – a woman whose “lungs fold like an origami bird”. These poems will give you goose-bumps.’ – Helen Mort
‘Written with a lightness of touch, these poems are capable of dealing with the big themes – especially those of birth, death or illness…this poet [is] capable of creating canonical work which draws on a contemporary re-thinking of poetic traditions while finding a voice that is wholly her own.’ – Siobhán Campbell on The Quick in Poetry Ireland Review
‘Traynor is a master at delineating these almost imperceptible but vital changes…Traynor’s fine delicate lyricism belies a social consciousness that subtly bleeds through several poems.’ – Martina Evans on The Quick in The Irish Times