Poems by Alison Winch
With an introduction by Sarah Howe
Paperback ISBN 978-1-910139-39-4
Cover illustration by Sophie Herxheimer
AN EMMA PRESS PAMPHLET
Publication date: 23rd June 2016
Page count: 36
Price: £6.50 (paperback) / £4.25 (ebook)
Relationships are tricky. Sometimes you just have to take off. Maybe on a medieval pilgrimage, or to a ballroom in eighteenth-century London, or perhaps a hotel in Eastbourne where the sheets are made of plastic. But you can never really escape. Via nightingales, betting shops, horny marriage counsellors and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, this pamphlet looks at different kinds of intimacy – with lovers, grandmothers, patriarchy, the not-yet-born – and what they can reveal about sex, power and care.
‘Here comes trouble’, the saying goes: harder to pin down than worry or strife, ‘trouble’ marks a downturn in one’s fortunes, of course, but often has an extra edge of something like naughtiness, cheek – the thrill of a ruin you pursue in full knowledge. Its ‘Here comes…’ variety has an undertow of sexiness: the femme fatale sauntering by in the movies, the hot, charismatic guy in the office you really shouldn’t… Trouble, in all these senses, is just around the corner in this first pamphlet from Alison Winch. Her poems are, by turns, lyrical, erotic, funny, tender, blunt, baroquely wrought and extremely moving.’ — Sarah Howe in her introduction to the book
‘Winch’s language use and metaphorical thrust has an undercurrent of sexual desire and nourishment. The poems dealing with her dying grandmother are counterpointed with life enhancing images of pomegranate, magnolia, potato and hops. There is an overriding sense of female power and voice arising from various states of intimacy, and that chimes in well with other recent works by Dorothy Lehane, Sophie Mayer, and Sarah Howe. I greatly look forward to reading more of Winch’s poetry and warmly recommend this debut collection.’ – David Caddy, Tears in the Fence
‘A witty collection which approaches the title’s theme of ‘trouble’ through a distinctly feminine (and feminist) perspective.’ – Jessica Traynor, Sabotage Reviews
‘This pamphlet from the Emma Press is all texture: sharp, soft, hot and cold. It draws together experience, introspection and a hunger for understanding and trying to make sense of the world. It turns an eye on female experience and universal concerns: power, love, sex and motherhood. It’s playful, challenging, funny and bold.’ – Poetry School Books of the Year 2016
About the poet
Alison Winch is a lecturer in Media Studies at the University of East Anglia. She is author of Girlfriends and Postfeminist Sisterhood (Palgrave, 2013) and co-editor of Encountering Buddhism in Twentieth-Century British and American Literature (Bloomsbury, 2013).