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In one of the best debut collections for ages, Katy Evans-Bush rises to the challenge of finding words for our times, meeting them in the nurseries of children or the battlefields of Iraq. Her work is various, educated and promiscuously open to experience: a Bishoppy moose makes an unepiscopal escape into TV's 'Northern Exposure' as its name morphs through Muldoonian games; Catullus is translated into rougharse while the title-poem takes the pulse of modern death. She makes good use of her joint passport into British and American poetry, which now often seem to share a whole language of faux amis, in a book which is stylish and funny, cultured and humane. This is contemporary poetry for grown-ups.
‘The most exciting news in contemporary poetry is not English or American but a mid-Atlantic, old-and-new-world marriage of the two, renewing the verbal contract. In her saucy, brilliant debut, Katy Evans-Bush proves one of the brightest offspring of this marriage. “I lashed myself to the texts of love,” she writes, “as if they were a raft.” Her poems depicting commuters, lovers, friends alive and dead, bigamists “thumbing mobile phones,” scenes on both sides of the big pond, are charged and rigorous. When she reminds us, “Nothing is more dangerous than a weak imagination,” it reverberates with earned authority. The woman alive in these poems is a vital confrontation. She deserves to be read everywhere.’ —David Mason
‘I couldn’t put it down?! Very absorbing and satisfying at many levels. I’m sure it will have a considerable impact and I hope that translates into sales and prizes.’ —Ian Duhig
‘Katy Evans-Bush can tell an offbeat story the way you’ve never heard it before, but wanted to. Her ironised yet romantic fatalism--reminiscent of a post-sisterhood Millay--is a model of wit and restrained emotion.’ —John Stammers
‘Suffice to say that Evans-Bush is a strong poet with a serious future in this bailiwick.’ —Jo Hutchinson