Roll up, roll up for my 22nd and very last date of the Better Houses tour in Abergavenny on Sunday 22 April at 11.30am!
Susie Wild reads from her new volume of poetry, talks about writing it, and discusses questions raised by the audience.
She says: ‘I will be reading from my debut poetry collection. Better Houses is about the places we inhabit in life, about relationships and the extraordinary in the everyday. It has all the key subjects: birth, death, sex, love and loss. At the book’s core, it is as much about moving house as it is about trying to centre yourself somewhere, to find a place to call home, to be still. I have moved at least every six months to two years in my adult life, sometimes through choice and often not. This draws on those experiences of packing and unpacking boxes, but it also employs fiction, humour and imagination. Other poems escape fires and great white sharks, test beds and language barriers and hunt fossils and comets, spells and adventures.’
Praise for Better Houses:
'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."' – New Welsh 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 [...] 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.' – Edward Doegar, Poetry Wales
'Perhaps this is the message she wants to leave us with, the importance of opening doors and allowing for reintegration within an individual as well as across relationships through decency and kindness. Readers of all types will find something marvellous here.' – Mary Jacob, Gwales
'exuberant and smart [...] Half-remembered, half-invented, but wholly charismatic.' – Sophie Baggott, Wales Arts Review