Written during a residency with The Polar Museum in Cambridge, Robbergirls reimagines The Snow Queen as a Sapphic rite of passage. Offered in seven sections that echo the fairy tale’s form, these hot, tender, and generous poems search for a lost other who is by turns friend, brother, son, lover, but ultimately an aspect of a fragmented self. In her formally playful and linguistically rich third collection, Benyon suggests that the ache for contact can be tempered by nature, even with disordered seasons. In striking poems that refuse to deny environmental breakdown, the poet holds space for the indigenous people of the Arctic as she considers the devastating impacts of climate change on their landscapes and lives.
‘Here are poems which combine dark Lawrentian fire with sparkling contemporary diction to great effect: poignant, far-reaching, reflective, elemental. A remarkable debut.’ —Penelope Shuttle
‘Benyon can produce truly startling metaphors (like “the ticking crucifixion” of Mother as a Windmill) and her talent for earthy language lends itself well to the erotic in pieces such as Poem #87, Call it Love and (Not) Penelope’s Web. She is a new poet worth watching.’ —Andrew Neilson, Magma
‘In The Tidal Wife Kaddy Benyon dramatizes “that unruly human cycle / of pull and push”. On the one hand there's the lure of island life and its creative potential, on the other the claims of family and home. Between the two, language ebbs and flows with restless energy through poems of formal invention and imaginative risk.’ —Esther Morgan
‘Kaddy Benyon’s The Tidal Wife will inhabit you for days, weeks, years. These poems interrogate, with eye-watering honesty, the many fractured pieces of a ‘self’ – the roles we play and chafe under, the repressions, explosions, breakdowns, and fierce moments of joy.’ —Fiona Benson