Taking liberties, Leontia Flynn ( paperback August 2023)
These poems emerge from the experience of being a single mother in Belfast, and against a background of seemingly continuous crisis. Political upheaval and anxiety, violence and death are all registered in these poems, which ask questions about where independence is balanced by our relationships with others, and where our inner lives meet the globally connected world.
These are poems about cities - living, travelling and working in cities, getting sick and dying in cities - but also about retreating from all that: to her daughter at home, the budgie, cat and tortoise, or escaping to the park, the municipal pool, the Irish countryside, Newfoundland, or Paris, or into a Nina Simone song.
This is a necessary book - a book very much of our time - with a consistent tone that is brave and bleak, but which also carries with it some much-needed humour, and a wealth of beautiful writing.
Everyone should be reading her' OBSERVER