Livid Among The Ghostings Launch

The launch event for my first full length collection is on Saturday. You can find event details here: and audio of some of the poems here: If you can’t make the event the book is avaialble to buy from Cornerhouse, order in to most bookshops or available direct from the publisher here: I will also have a few copies in my handbag bookshop if you see me out and about at events. So far two lovely people have been kind enough to write me bijoux reviews you can find Becca Audra Smith’s one here: and Stef Portersmith sent me this: 

Stef Portersmith  20th June 2013


This is a collection of delicate beauty. There is a deeply wistful quality in every piece. The rhythm of the work is like a brook, light of touch, fluid and meandering, exploring and winnowing out the detail of every stone and bank along the way, a rhythm that is eminently suited to frame Anna Percy’s exquisitely crafted lexicon.

There is a gentle tension here with a nonchalant style delivering a rare sensitive sensibility. Gentle tension appears all over this book – heart versus head, fantasy versus reality, urban imagery versus rural, in fact considerably overrun by rural. The countryside is scooped up, appreciated and put to work.

 In ‘The Room Is A Strawberry Hull’, a poem stuffed with the sensuous longing that characterises Anna Percy’s work, she states in conclusion, ‘Their mouths were all fruits’. And it seems her mouth, or at least her voice, is resonating with the colours and flavours of the natural world. Here is a cornucopia of flowers and fruits; even in the midst of grief and loss (‘All Shall Be Well And All Manner Of Things Shall Be Well St Julian of Norwich’) she notices, presumably in a crematorium, the shady foliage in an ‘exuberance of growth’.

She gives us ‘tattered tulip’,  ‘verdant flowers’, ‘fragile narcissi bulbs’, ‘daffodils’, ‘bluebells’, ‘brambles’, ‘chrysanthemums’, ‘roses’ and  ‘carnations’, and that is just the flora.

Her ability to bring her sensory experiences vividly to life in the readers mind means you can almost taste the ‘red peaches’, ‘wild strawberries’, ‘over-ripe dented pear’, ‘blackberries and raspberries’, ‘apples’, not to mention the ‘puffball mushrooms’.

Her senses are alive and keen. Everywhere are smells, tastes, sights and sounds described in vital detail, such as, ‘At sundown with the scent of seaweed, globules of bladderwrack cause their whiskers to twitch..’ and ‘slowly they lick their curved spined sunning spots..’ from ‘Seabank Seals’, and, ‘..that damp growth smell, of grass and moss and cow parsley, night scent of freedom and terror’ from ‘When I Am Freewheeling, Lost’.

There is righteous anger but it is not a bitter fire, more an earnest imperative for change. There is melancholy and disappointment but it is shot through with a stoical optimism borne of a certainty that life is beautiful. This book is beautiful.


About Quad

The Stirred quad is formed of Rebecca Audra Smith, Anna Percy, Jasmine Chatfield and Lenni Sanders.
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