Tuesday, 6 March 2018
Edward Doegar reviewed Better Houses for the new issue of Poetry Wales, here's the start of the review:
"As the title hints, Susie Wild’s book Better Houses touches on some of the pressing concerns of the era (the housing crisis, social inequality). In ‘Gentrifying the Area’ she reflects on the rate of change (‘three short months’) that puts ‘tumbledown terraces’ ‘on / the up, like the house prices’. The poet reflects on her part in the process. She presents herself as the artist type whose cultivation of an area increases its value:
with our strawberries and herb
garden, our five runners,
beany social climbers,
racing each other up bamboo
to blue-sky investments,
Forced out in search of lower rent, the poem ends: ‘There are worse ways to be going, going / gone.’ It’s an interesting angle to take and reflects the book’s insistence to make the most of things, being whimsically enthused or tuttingly aggrieved with one’s (always temporary) lot in life. Wild veers between being overly jolly and too intentionally profound."
In the summary final paragraph of the review he writes 'Wild veers between being overly jolly and too intentionally profound.' and I think I'm going to put 'overly jolly and too intentionally profound.' on a Tshirt and, maybe, a tote bag now.
Sunday, 4 March 2018
New Welsh Review Reviewed Better Houses, here's an extract:
Wild clearly has a sense of fun. Her poem, ‘Pub Crawl Date’ – cataloguing a nine-pint epic evening out – had me chuckling out loud. So too, ‘The Bed Testers’. But, in my view, Wild is at her best when she is more serious and, to this end, there were several stand-out poems. [...] Similarly, there is a Plath-like forensic quality to ‘The Lash Museum’ which I also really enjoyed. It opens with ‘A gutsy Cornish wind / slammed the caravan door shut, / skinning a birthmark, / my head / a blood fountain.’ The poem’s protagonist is then raced to hospital for attention and when the stitches are removed, she keeps them as morbid reminders of her pain: ‘clumped lashes a-flutter / in a plastic pot.’
Buy Better Houses for £8.99 from Parthian