by Jennifer Copley
64pp Paperback Perfect Bound
Published December 2006
£7.50 post free in UK.
Jennifer Copley, South Cumbria’s 2005 Poet Laureate, was born in Barrow-in-Furness. She was a late starter and only began writing when her children left home. Her first pamphlet - Ice - was published by Smith/Doorstop Books in 2002 and was a winner in The Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition 2001. Her second pamphlet - House by the Sea - was published in 2003 by Arrowhead Press. Her work has appeared in many magazines including The North, Smiths Knoll, The Rialto, Acumen and The Interpreter's House. In 2006 she was the national winner in the Ottakar’s & Faber Poetry Competition.
Unsafe Monuments is a disarming first collection, in which crisply told anecdotes, reminiscent of folk tales, compel our attention with their mixture of simple, direct language and strange narrative twists. Nothing here is as familiar or safe as it might first seem. Houses sink into the ground, women fly; the dead are always near at hand, and there are many kinds of angel, calmly operating as part of ordinary reality. There is a Chagall-like, magical-realist quality to Copley’s delicate shape-shifting. But however freely her invention soars, these poems also explore the poignancy of real lives in time: - childhood, old age, the greeds and needs of love. By turns charming, sensuous and disturbing, they give fresh resonance to ancient archetypes, and convey a grounded, tactful sense of the frail comedy of human things.
Copyright © 2007 Arrowhead Press
Last modified: 16 June 2008