Pascale Petit Radio Interview

Pascale Petit Radio Interview

‘This is a major literary feat, and this a brilliant sequence of poems. It burns in its own supranatural light.' – Tim Liardet & Vona Groarke, PBS Bulletin

Pascale Petit’s seventh poetry collection Mama Amazonica, which has been awarded Poetry Book Society Choice for Autumn 2017, was published by Bloodaxe Books on National Poetry Day, Thursday 28 September.  Mama Amazonica is Pascale Petit’s first collection from Bloodaxe Books.  She will be launching the book with a series of events, including readings at King’s Lynn Poetry Festival, North Cornwall Book Festival and The Cheltenham Literature Festival, with further appearances at festivals to follow next year.  Details are here.

Mama Amazonica is set in a psychiatric ward and in the Amazonian rainforest, an asylum for animals on the brink of extinction. The book tells the story of Pascale Petit’s mentally ill mother and the consequences of abuse, as well as celebrating the beauty of the wild, whether in the mind or the natural world. As the PBS selectors note: ‘…her greatest, most singular achievement has been to tackle difficult subject matter head-on, while simultaneously distancing herself from it through the use of exotic metaphor.’  Pascale has commented that it is a book that took her ‘63 years to write’.


Debbie McCrory, BBC Radio Cornwall, Monday 2 October 2017, 3-5pm

Pascale Petit was interviewed on BBC Radio Cornwall ahead of her North Cornwall Book Festival appearances. 

Pascale spoke in depth about her two trips to the Amazon in 2016 to do research for her new poetry collection Mama Amazonica, which she described as being ‘about the wild in the mind and in the Amazon rainforest’.  She spoke about how the animals, the smells and sounds of the rainforest have been incorporated into her poetry.  She also spoke about the background to the book, which is about the mental illness of Pascale’s late mother, and is a tough story about how she met Pascale’s father and the terrible things that happened to her.
‘I started to love her through the poems, to honour her and celebrate her and the whole idea of motherhood.’

Click here to listen (available until 1 November: from 36.44).



Literature Works, online 8 September 2017
Literature Works (which promotes literature in the South West) featured Mama Amazonica ahead of its publication on National Poetry Day. The feature included a review of Mama Amazonica, which tells the story of the mental illness of Pascale’s mother:

‘In likening her to various rainforest creatures, Petit has carved for the reader a portrait of a woman who is utterly changeable – at once, impossible to love and yet also impossible not to. She is the 'Victoria Amazonica', the jaguar and the caiman, amongst the many other animal-identities she assumes throughout the collection. Each creature or plant shows a little more of what it must have been like to live with her… A triumphant collection inspired by her life and her trips to the Amazonia rainforest, Pascale Petit’s Mama Amazonica is thoroughly recommended.’ – Literature Works

Click here to read the feature.

[10 October 2017]

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