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How to Fall, from Cape Cod to Cornwall, is the art of defying the gravity of loss. Chance encounters hint at the darker side of relationships. The present carries with it the weight of the unspoken past. And throughout these urgent narratives there is a voice you can trust, and a world wide and generous enough for starting again. Here are sensuous poems that celebrate the transience of the moment.
“Karen Annesen’s How to Fall is going to be a real event. Annesen is one of those poets whose cumulative effect is greater than that of any individual poem. There’s a stillness and intensity about her language that reminds me of Louise Gluck, which from a rabid Gluck fangirl is high praise, and I love the way some of her poems clearly have an immense back-story which is never spelt out but adds ominous heft and depth to what we do see.” – Sheenagh Pugh
‘Karen Annesen’s poems do not, usually, tell the whole story; they tell part of a story and leave the reader vaguely disturbed by the implied back-story and consumed with interest in it. The reality of these poems is not the surface reality of fact and anecdote, which is the stuff of so many poems. Rather it is the deeper reality of imagery and the senses. They go beyond the merely observational, for they observe not just what people say and do, but what is actually in their minds when they say and do it. In their refusal to provide easy answers they are tantalising and disturbing, yet their skill with language and imagery is deeply satisfying.’ —Sheenagh Pugh
‘Karen Annesen’s poems are extraordinarily observant. They have a steady-eyed, lightly carried humanity which presents things as they are but also transfigures them by a lucid, precise poetic technique. Her gift is to make profound feeling look artless, whether she is evoking unlaboured mourning, or love, or parting. The poems make their point at once, like a Raymond Carver story; but then you find yourself haunted by them. She is a poet of the very first order.’ —Bernard O’Donoghue