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Rhiannon Hooson
Publication Date: 
Thursday, October 6, 2022
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Read Rhiannon's poem ‘What Was Left in the Orchard’ on the National Poetry Day website.


Goliat is the long-awaited follow-up to Hooson’s debut collection The Other City. The title poem takes us to the Barents Sea and the dark waters of a Russian oil field named Goliat – a whale, a giant, a monster – to the ‘singular infinities of the wintering sea’, where something is starting to sing. 

Nature and climate crisis are forever present in the consciousness of these poems, as in ‘Doggerland’, a lament for the nearing extinction of the white fronted goose, or in ‘Horse Skull Crown’, a folk dance for the evening of the world.

The pinnacle of the collection is the sequence ‘Full Moon on Fish Street’ which introduces an invented artist, known only as Aubrey, and details the erotic dynamic between her and her muse Elizabeth Kidd, which unfolds across poems and against the vibrantly drawn backdrop of St Ives. 

Art and artists populate the pages of Goliat, as well as a deep sense of place and history, united in the the series ‘Dirtwife’, inspired by the long history of pigments and dyestuffs. 

This intelligent, sensuous second collection tackles the precariousness of climate emergency and of existing in a human body, along with poems exploring the monstrous and the more-than-human, and the intimate histories of women and their work.


“Hooson’s poetry is a rich and assured gift—complex truths are revealed in language that is precise and luminous. One cannot but admire her craft: the sensuous detail and passionate abstraction. These are meditations steeped in profundity.  They call on the reader to dare and leap with her wonderments and ultimately to share and celebrate her explorations. ‘ Watchfulness’ doesn’t get better than this.”  – Menna Elfyn

”Hooson goes out in her wellies and faces down old and new monsters. Her wise and steady gaze takes in the loss of old certainties, both personal and political, the loss of the ‘white fronted goose’ and of love and innocence. Achingly beautiful, fine and twisty poems– a magical alchemy of the ancient and modern worlds.” – Deborah Alma


Review by Pat Edwards, The London Grip

Thursday, October 13, 2022

“The opening poems in this fine and deeply engaging collection ooze imagination… Hooson is unflinching in her bold imaginings… Each of the poems has yearning, a piercing atmosphere and the quiver of the sea… the whole collection is a masterclass in poetic language and form; it represents carefully researched themes and the employment of inventive devices to create a truly magical, luminous book.” – The London Grip

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