Low-Tide Lottery is an introduction to the work of upcoming poet Claire Trévien. This is an exuberant collection that rummages in the rust of the everyday in search of beauty. It crackles with imagination, rubbing history together with the present to create unexpected, wild imagery. Bodies become machines, Minotaurs and ancient Greek gods stalk the streets of Paris. Both theatrical and intimate, the author’s native Brittany is a backdrop to many of these poems.
‘Whenever I read new poetry I’m looking for someone else’s delight in language and ideas; for work that commands and sustains my attention. What I never expect, but what I found in Claire Trevien’s work, is a voice already so mature and refined it reads like a previously untranslated classic rather than a debut. These are serious, visually stunning poems of nationality, history and memory, but they’re personal and generous in their wit, as formally innovative as they are endlessly engaged and engaging. Reading them is like spending an hour in the company of someone you secretly admire. The world could do with fewer blurbs and more great poetry so I’ll leave it at that.’ —Luke Kennard
‘Claire Trévien conjures Rimbaud, Baudelaire and the French Revolution for the twenty-first century […] an accomplished, exhilarating and innovative debut.’ —Michelle McGrane
‘Auden said that the first sign of an authentic gift in any poet was a passion for language, and she has that richly, but she possesses other vital resources too: an engagement with history, a talent for expressing the intellect through the senses, a subtle weave of intimacy and openness, and all the best things that French culture gives its children. She hears the silence after the tempest ‒ and knows how to make us attend to it too.’ —Michael Hulse
‘This is fresh, exuberant, intellectually serious poetry, enriched by a French passport and a French library; Claire Trevien draws fruitfully on her joint heritage to create poems infused with formal questioning, linguistic vivacity and local colour. History, family, personal experience express a heirarchy of memory and questioning, made sharper by its access to — and sometimes drift between – two languages, each with its own life. There is a lot happening in these poems, and it is never — as the poem 1798 almost puts it — 'Alors qu‚il ne se passe rien'. An exciting first pamphlet.’ —Katy Evans-Bush