Acerbic, precise and very funny, Pamela Crowe’s poems explore home life and relationships in a delightfully forthright voice. Secret frustrations and anxieties are aired and private fantasies brought into the light, as odes blur into diatribes and psychodramas become love poems.
Woven throughout The Bell Tower is a love of Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath, Wendy Cope and – above all – Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones. These are fierce, acutely observed poems that give weight to domestic minutiae and put words to helpless howls into the abyss.
Praise for The Bell Tower
“What strikes me about these poems is their willingness to inhabit anger. The title The Bell Tower refers, say the notes, to the poet’s ‘space of my own with a great view from which to shout across the landscape.’ (An echo of Plath’s The Bell Jar is lurking — though instead of entrapment, the bell tower represents empowerment). Pamela Crowe names her subject in the opening poem, subtitled ‘I (or anger)’. Here, she muses on how her neighbour ‘probably would not want me/ with three kids and an anger problem’. This naming invites the anger into the frame, and signals to the reader that the speaker, while angry, is in control. From here, I felt able to enjoy and relate to that rage: from a poem titled ‘Cloudcunt’ to her use of expletives throughout.” – Georgia Gildea