I don’t think I’ve ever written about a book of poetry here before. That’s because I don’t read that much of it. Whenever I do, I think, ‘I should read more poetry.’
This won the Costa, but that’s not the main reason I picked it up. The author, Hannah Lowe, was a tutor on my MA course. She taught my Creative Nonfiction (CNF) module. Which sounds a long way from poetry, but a person can have skills in more than one type of writing. She was very good as a tutor, and in fact I got my highest single mark in CNF.
It’s a very short and easy read, but some of the poems go to some dark places. Others — most, I’d say — are highly positive and life-affirming. They were inspired by her time teaching sixth formers in English schools. Which made me wonder on my CNF class chat, should we be worried about what her next collection’s going to be about?
Hopefully she won’t repeat herself. These are all sonnets, or in one cases a series of sonnets under one title, and very good, as the awards people clearly think.