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Poetry Wales

Publisher notes

Kathryn Bevis's Flamingo introduces us to a troupe of wild, unique, and captivating poems. Here, Bevis treats a range of subjects including work, survival, love, and mortality. Flamingo brings us into encounter with life and our own embodiment: our births and deaths, our struggles and joys, doing so with humour, dynamism, and spirit.<br><br>Formally inventive, using forms from the ghazal to the gram of &amp;s, all the poems take startling and original angles on their subject matter. There is humour and biting wit undercutting the sexual politics in 'Wonder Woman Questions Her Status as a 70s Symbol of Female Empowerment.' There are surprising metaphors and surreal narratives that uncover difficult truths and painful experiences, as in 'Teddy' in which a teddy bear stands in for an abusive partner. There are moving poems, too, about romantic love and family.<br><br>Bevis is never afraid to explore complicated feelings for loved ones: for example in 'Knitting Nan-Nan,' in which the poem's speaker knits her grandmother back to life. Often, animals are companions on the journeys that these poems make. Starlings speak in a collective flock to remind us that individualism is not the rule for all creatures.<br><br>A squid trapped in a fridge echoes the collective lockdown of '2020', and the grieving rituals of animals illuminate a human separation. Cancer is posed as a ring-tailed lemur, capering through the sufferer's body, and the titular 'Flamingo' imagines death as a flamboyant transformation where the speaker shapeshifts into the afterlife by becoming a flamingo herself. Altogether, Flamingo is worth reading for its remarkable originality.<br><br>Every poem in this book is a discovery and a joy.




Poetry Wales








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