On Becoming a Fish
"There are many strong poems in this collection which can help us understand our complex and historied relationship with our coastline and each other". – Write Out Loud
Emily Hinshelwood’s new poetry collection, On Becoming a Fish was inspired by a series of walks around the 186 mile Pembrokeshire coastal path in West Wales, known for its spectacular views from cliffside paths skirting the Irish sea and the Bristol Channel. Deeply engaged with environmental issues through her work in community energy and climate change, the author is also a keen observer of human nature in the context of this beautiful coastline.
The poems feature: ghosts, quarries, shipwrecks, pirates, fishermen, sailors; the remnants of industrial industry as well as monuments from the past: neolithic burial sites, forts, caves, graves, memorials. Also present are characters conjured from history such as the ‘four hundred Welsh Women wearing stovepipe hats’ who foiled the last invasion of Britain at Carregwastad in 1797, as well as contemporary encounters: a retired fisherman, lifeboat crew, a lighthouse keeper and a skinny dipper.
The author says: “This collection explores ‘what happens at the boundary’ – not just the topographical boundary of sea meeting land – but the concept of boundary in itself: political borders, social barriers, environmental limits, historical divisions; the boundary between fact and fiction, between you and I.”