Poetry Book Society Recommendation
These poems are luminous despatches from the charged, porous boundary between ‘animal’ and ‘human’. They pull apart and remake definitions and categorisations of wildness and civilisation, training their focus on the language we use to describe youth, social class, and the body. From iron horses to grizzly bears, from deep-water fish to scanderoons, Feral roams the limits of power, language, and love. Cinematic, playful, edgy, tender, startlingly imaginative and strange, Feral’s voices carve out a space in the borderlands.
Kate Potts' Whichever Music was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice in 2008 and shortlisted for a Michael Marks Award. Her first book-length collection, Pure Hustle, was published by Bloodaxe in 2011. Feral is her second collection.
‘Feral is a storehouse of manifold enchantments: a book in which lore and personal iconography are melded to startling effect. The technical assurance displayed here alongside a strong beating heart make for a sonically and emotionally rich reading, and re-reading, experience. This collection is “a feat of balance”, as the poem “Iron Horse” has it, where each component gives shape and function to the elegant motion of the whole.’ – Kayo Chingonyi
‘These are poems of a marvellously observed, bodily interiority which engage with our animal selves, at a loss in the concrete warrens of our cities, as they starve or gorge, roam or home. The resulting book is deeply personal, compelling, occasionally hilarious and frequently unsettling as the “strange fish” of our thoughts emerge from their “iron guardedness” and hitch themselves to the amazing railings of these poems. And the radio poem The Blown Definitions is a wonder, a whole island mythos to itself. Kate Potts is one of the foremost writers of our generation. Buy this monstrously brilliant book.’ – Fiona Benson on Feral
'Intricate, vital-tender, dazzling work — Potts’ poetry sings even as it bares its teeth.' – Eley Williams on Feral
'Pure Hustle is a gem of book in which Kate Potts conjures a poetry which astonishes and moves the reader. The texture of her language – its deft and surprising turns, its intense musicality – allows the many voices in these poems to soar. Her curiosity and profound intelligence means that the poems range wonderfully far and wide in setting and subject-matter from the urban clutter of contemporary settings, to modern variations on pastoral, to Penelope weaving, to a beached whale, and more. Kate Potts is a poet whose ear and eye for her work are as close to perfect as can be: Pure Hustle is pure gold.' – Jo Shapcott