New Book

Delighted to share the exciting news that my first collection is coming out next year, with Pavilion Poetry, part of Liverpool University Press.

The book is called Slant Light, and comes in this handsome shade of green which I hope chimes with the somewhat botanical and earthy contents. I would hesitate to label the collection as 'eco poetry' but it is written with a deep awareness of human and non-human connections and threads. It contains some poems from my pamphlet, Inklings, but mostly new work that has been published here and there in the last three or four years. It's been an interesting, painstaking and laborious process gathering the work together, ordering and editing it, and we are still tweaking the manuscript.
Here's a picture of the cover -

And here is a taster of the 'blurb' -

In her first full-length collection, Sarah Westcott immerses the human self in the natural world, 
giving voice to a remarkable range of flora and fauna so often silenced or unheard. 
Here, the voiceless speaks, laments and sings - from the fresh voice of a spring wood 
to a colony of bats or a grove of ancient sequioa trees. Unafraid of using scientific language 
and teamed with a clear eye, Westcott’s poems are drawn directly from the natural world, 
questioning ideas of the porosity of boundaries between the human and non-human 
and teeming with detail. A series of lyrical charms inspired by Anglo-Saxon texts 
draw on the specificity of the botanical and its spoken heritage, suggesting a relevance 
that resonates today. Westcott’s poems are alive to the beautiful in the commonplace 
and offer up a precise honouring of the wild, while retaining a deeply-felt sense of connection 
with a planet in peril.

It is only the second year that Pavilion have been publishing and I am privileged to be part of this new series, edited by the wonderful poet Deryn Rees-Jones. The press got off to a flying start with Mona Arshi's collection, Small Hands, which won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection this year, and two other collections - Blood Child, by Eleanor Rees and And She Was by Sarah Corbett.
Slant Light is due in April next year.
Also forthcoming at the same time is Every Little Sound by Ruby Robinson, which I am looking forward to very much, having recently enjoyed her work in the Poetry Review. Hopefully we'll be reading at a few events together in 2016.

I was particularly pleased with the comments from two fellow poets on the book which will go on the back - two poets whose work I admire and enjoy very much indeed. Permitting myself to blow my own trumpet *parp* - this is what they said:

Slant Light is a book of charms and wonders, full of birds and flowers. 
But Sarah Westcott is too good a poet to simply charm us, and the work here is fierce with intelligence, 
compassion and the sheer exuberance of attending to what Hopkins called ‘the dearest freshness 
deep down things’. A super debut. 
Jacob Polley   
I have been waiting eagerly for a full collection from Sarah Westcott. Now it is here I am dazzled. 
So imaginative are the poems in Slant Light it's as if she pulls her language from a fantastical place; 
Westcott takes us deep into the natural world, makes us understand its physical urgency, 
‘the insistence of air’. She has a microscopic eye. Everything we encounter here – the bat, the mole, 
the hare, the flower – is so finely described, things rise up from the page. 
This is not just a book of poems, it is a book of rich, exquisite shapes, providing a new understanding 
of how ‘we sense the bright world’.
Rebecca Goss   

You can read more about Slant Light, and Pavilion Poetry, here - 


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