little armoured

Rebecca Perry
Publication Date: 
Monday, January 30, 2012
No votes yet

Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice

"Remarkable." - Poetry Wales

In 2011, Poetry Wales magazine awarded the Poetry Wales Purple Moose Poetry Prize for the third time. The judges, Zoe Skoulding and John Barnie, made their selection of the best short collection of poems, submitted anonymously, with the winner receiving £250 and publication of their world by Seren, Wales' leading literary publisher.

The 2011 winning collection is 'little armoured' by Rebecca Perry.

"little armoured is a brilliant book, which emits light and heat like the electric heater one of its poems describes as

a humming like a bee in the corner
of the room, its orangeness
brighter than your eyes expect.

Its miniatures and transforming images sometimes recall Elizabeth Bishop, its tonally various sequences Paul Muldoon, but this is a young poet who already discovered her own voice in these exact and tender, smart and moving poems." John McAuliffe

Would you like to subscribe to Poetry Wales Magazine? - Click here

User Reviews

Anonymous's picture

Review from Poetry Wales

No votes yet

When Rebecca Perry's pamphlet arrived, on wet weekend, I thought I would try a quick preliminary skim. But the 2011 winner of Poetry Wales Purple Moose Prize proved true to its title. little armoured resists superficial reading. It is a pamphlet with the heart of a book; poetry of quiet but substantial presence.

Perry shapes her openings with confidence. Firmly accented, flexible lines expand in description of almost heroic plainness, where every simile counts: 'He has stood tall and unshaking like the dead apple tree'. Her distinct skill in structuring experience is conceded by titles: 'My grandfather considers his life in three stages'.

Her visual descriptions can be gorgeous: 'nipples flashing pink and gold in the firelight'. Her 'Seated Figure of Summer 1573' features a lovely, falling lament for flesh, 'all my colours gone'. Yet it ends with the mind's firm accents: 'some ridiculous final thought".

This young poet's range is remarkable.

Her wit and quicksilver shifts may be shared by other young poets. But Perry is distinctive in clarity of her conclusions, as in her description of shooting instructors who stand 'bearing the still-a-little-pink scars' 'and believe absolutely it won't happen again'. The opening 'and' is a trademark achievement of Perry's: the quiet before a final, certain shock.

I have noted her accomplished poems in magazines. I now look forward, with confidence, to a full-length collection, whose depths - I promise- Saturday's rain-slicked windows will not tempt me to skim.

Alison Brackenbury, Poetry Wales Summer 12 Volume 48 No: 1

10/07/2012 - 15:51