Erec & Enide is a bold and unashamedly intimate work that delights in the theatrical, communicative powers of language, and by turns gives way to a quiet sadness. Writing out of contemporary feminist revisions of lyric and epic forms, the poems set up an overtly feminised display which the reader then re-enacts to find meanings which do not ally and a feminism which does not conform to conventional modes of uplift.
Taking its title from Chretien De Troyes’ twelfth-century Arthurian romance, Erec & Enide draws on Jack Spicer’s The Holy Grail, the pastoral romanticism of John Clare, the feminist projects of Lisa Robertson and the essays of Kathy Acker as it moves through a vibrant, rich and playful mix of underhand lyric. These modern love poems wear their ideologically saturated state on their sleeve, and are all the more loving for that.
‘It is the world’s wild glare that provides the complex heart of Erec & Enide. With wisdom, uncommon wit, and precision, Amy De’Ath’s spirited first book unsettles all things to reveal that neither a language nor a body is a closed system. De’Ath’s is an inclusive imagination that meets the world with lyric intensity and irony—her poems invite us to feel: “stranger, it’s a hunger I’m looking for.”’ —Peter Gizzi
‘Lyrical, local, literary, strong, domestic, delicate, sexy and epic, Amy De’Ath’s Erec & Enide also brings the modernity and speed of much recent North American poetry to these too-often inward-looking isles. De’Ath’s emphatic arrival on the British poetry scene is cause for both hope and celebration.’ —Tim Atkins
‘While we oscillate between life and death, Amy De'Ath's poetry looks to the whir, the engines and the effects of such daily migrations. She ably slows us to take in and weigh the view, to ask how we construct the 'publicity of meaning'. De'Ath's is a sensitive search; and while the unearthed may challenge (‘opened every cupboard looking for the nature of it’), the unanswerable space is enriching.
Erec & Enide is fiery and soft. Let it carry you on wings of seductive metrics and lyric playfulness, below and between timeless narratives.
’ —Amy King