Winner of the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2010.
In this first collection from Hilary Menos, icebergs floating down the Thames jostle with transvestites in Singapore, aliens wading the Hudson River and the lively crew from the local slaughterhouse. We go shopping with Ingomar the barbarian and watch Bernard Manning gigging at Totnes Civic Hall. Other poems are populated with characters from fiction; we step off the cartoon cliff with the Road Runner, join Iggle Piggle in a subverted Night Garden, and hitch a lift with the micro-crew on their Fantastic Voyage.
Throughout, Menos brings a sophisticated sensibility to her poetry. Her subjects are seen aslant, with ironic as well as tender intentions. She ranges from the intimate and local to the ambitious and far flung, with poems that capture ‘elsewhere’ set in Paris and Havana and New York, and mini ‘ecological’ epics, often in the voice of an invented persona, alongside poems about geese and babies and farming life in rural Devon.
“This is someone who reflects an expert at work but has their own vivid way of seeing and acting.” – Ruth Padel
“…crackles with formal skill, with extraordinary, vibrant language … and with great style …” – Carol Ann Duffy
“She has the rare ability to uncover the wide range of implications of the world we live in, be they emotional, spiritual or literary. Here is a new poet with a full locker of accomplishments. She is sure to make an immediate impact.” – John Stammers
Listen to Hilary Menos read her poem, ‘Extra Maths’: