Poetry round-up: Motherhood, mythology and consuming the body

Reviews: Aoife Lyall, Victoria Kennefick, Inua Ellams

Victoria Kennefick’s Eat or We Both Starve  is daring, visceral and replete with unsettling images.

Victoria Kennefick’s Eat or We Both Starve is daring, visceral and replete with unsettling images.

Aoife Lyall’s debut, Mother, Nature (Bloodaxe, £9.95), explores pregnancy, loss, motherhood, hospitals and grief in moving lyric poems that amount to an extended sequence – the thematic resonance of the collection is detailed, and shows a thoroughness in its consideration of small moments of private grief.

In the tradition of Leanne O’Sullivan and Rebecca Goss, Lyall has a skill for delicacy and a disarming attention to the body as both porous and isolated by grief. The somewhat exhaustive treatment of the theme means that the collection lags in the middle, its effort to leave no stone unturned creating a repetition that dulls the effect across so many poems, but the voltage and intimacy of the earlier poems is undeniable.

The Irish Times
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