Playing House is the debut collection of poetry from Katherine Stansfield. A concise wit, a distinct voice and an unsettling view of the domestic characterise these poems whose subjects are the ordinary as viewed through the author’s satirical yet sympathetic eye. John Lennon’s tooth, an imaginary ‘Canada’, bees in Rhode Island, cats and office politics are all peculiar grist to this author’s mill. She presents both historical subjects such as Captain Scott of the Antarctic, and common objects, such as household bleach, from a skewed perspective, adding humour, drama and a quietly distinctive pathos.
‘Striking imagery, strange leaps of thought, wit and menace aside, the unmistakeable thrill of Katherine Stansfield’s poetry is in the voice. It addresses the world directly, takes it personally, and comes at the reader from constantly unexpected angles, a tangible, physical thing.’ – Philip Gross
‘Tightly-wrought and multi-layered, Katherine Stansfield's poems are a wonderful alchemy, touching on a range of experiences, each one lit with rhythm and wordplay, from the "laminated skin" of the library card to the hymn to bleach.’ – Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch ‘
...Her recent work is the best I have seen from her: highly distinctive, charged with a wit that has nothing to do with trying to be funny and everything to do with the strangeness of being in the world. Her last lines are devastating, not just in themselves, but because they make you realize how far you’ve come in the few stanzas that preceded them. I’ve always thought she was going to be a star in the poetry world, and I believe that more strongly than ever.’ – Mathew Francis