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The Rain Diaries is a book you’ll want to hold on to, accessible without being easy. It’s poetry that makes you think and feel. Words without the blinkers. At times, it says the unsay able with a power that kicks you in the chest. Within this collection there are people you’re already aware of even if you’ve never met them, because these poems reflect worlds glimpsed at odd angles that de-familiarise the well known, and make the unfamiliar recognisable. There’s genuine love in here, love of a city as well as a partner, and there’s blood lust here, and mob violence. There’s the magic of conception along with messed up relationships and the bitterness of failure.
This is a rainy day book, it’s like sitting in a café in town, not the pretty one that does latte and panino but one that does a nice line in tea and toast where you can sit invisible, watching people pass for as long as you like.
This is no-tricks poetry – it stands as witness, chronicles of lives lived without safety nets, often from the point of view of those living them. You might not like some of these people much, but after this, you’ll know them when you see them. One of them might be you.
‘Rosie Garner's poems explore a territory that often gets ignored, and she achieves a lyrical mix of toughness and tenderness that's hard to pull off.’ —Ian McMillan
‘Rosie Garner’s poems inhabit named urban streets, buses, football matches, corner shops. People who accuse poems of not reflecting real life could not say so of these. But the best poems do more than “say what you see”, they make us see it more sharply, unlike the couple in the pub who unwisely “ignore old Harry in the corner”. It’s always a mistake to ignore Old Harry, and these poems are very aware of his role in the world, yet they also see redemptive possibilities, like the man who finds, in illness, a new depth to his marriage.’ —Sheenagh Pugh
‘Rosie Garner's poetry speaks for the city-dweller as a friend and observer. Her Poetry on the Buses showed an eye for the urban undergrowth and an ear for the unlikely, voicing the experience of passengers and passers-by. She writes with humility about her own experiences, casts light and shade into emotional corners, and brings her work alive at readings with disarming honesty and a twinkle in her eye. I was delighted to include her in two anthologies I edited: A Tale of Three Cities and Lifemarks, and hope that she will now find support in the wider publishing community.’ —Jo Bell