Escape Room is the long-awaited debut collection of poems from Bryony Littlefair, following her Mslexia prize winning pamphlet Giraffe.
This is a collection exploring the possibilities of freedom, goodness, meaning and connection under late capitalism. Can we escape the imperatives of money, gender and human fallibility to freely construct our own identities – should we even try?
At the heart of Escape Room is the question of how to find light within the pain of anxiety and loss, the consolatory powers of friendship and creativity and the reimagining of life’s darkness as ‘an emerald, exciting kind of dark, a gaseous dark, dark / with a lot of light inside it.’
This complexity is balanced with a resolute joy, humour and irony. Escape Room is a contemporary Betjemanesque exploration of suburban, middle-class life, with all its apathy and subconscious fear. The subjects are wryly observed with a warmth, honesty and precision that make this an irresistible and perspicacious first collection.
If you’ve ever grappled with ‘a desire you could not understand / like wanting to touch dark, wet paint’, had an identity crisis at a corporate away day, or just not known what to do with your Sunday morning, the Escape Room is open for you.
”Fresh, natural and surprising twists and turns, sudden illuminations that feel like truth telling” – Pascal Petit
“Through the use of deadpan humour, lightning wit and a commitment to poking fun at pomposity, Bryony Littlefair’s poems show us what the world is really like. Her similes are compellingly outrageous and her metaphors are gloriously bizarre – these poems let us see life and our lives as the ridiculous strange beautiful creatures they are.” – Kim Moore