Carole Satyamurti’s poetry explores love, attachment and the fragility of personal survival, charting the tension between connected and separate lives. With an unflinching eye, she takes on complex and often painful subject-matter – cancer for instance or raising a disabled child. Many of her poems hinge on a turning-point or a place where one life touches another, bearing witness to the way we imagine – or fail to imagine – the otherness of others.
Stitching the Dark draws on four previous books and includes a whole new collection, her strongest and most formally adventurous. In these new poems, there is a deeper engagement with the universal predicament of how to live in the face of mortality – of what it means to exist, and to cease existing.
The title suggests that the act of writing – the search for the right words – is an attempt to repair, illuminate, and give form to what is unknown, fearful, perplexing. But the collection is by no means solemn. There is also wit and celebration, dark humour and a fine sense of the absurd, as well as poems challenging our responses to events that do not affect us directly.
‘No matter how compelling her themes, with their demands of compassion and political conscience, Satyamurti never loses hold of her main topic: the capacity of language’ – Bernard O’Donoghue, Poetry London.
‘Carole Satyamurti’s poems look to be stations on a road map of psychological discoveries, sometimes personal, sometimes objective and scientific. Her best poems are not so much confessions as meditations’ – Anne Stevenson, London Magazine.
‘Her unobtrusive approach is deceptive – these poems have unexpected stings in their tails’ – Penelope Shuttle.
Carole Satyamurti reads nine poems
Carole Satyamurti reads six poems from her sequence about breast cancer, 'Changing the Subject', together with another poem, 'Sathyaji', all these from Stitching the Dark: New & Selected Poems (2005), followed by two poems from her latest collection Countdown (2011), 'Life on Mir' and 'Countdown to Midnight'. Neil Astley filmed Carole Satyamurti at her home in London in March 2010.