Monday 14 March 2016

Chez Nous Recommendations for The Girl Who Grew Into a Crocodile

Claire Walker’s The Girl Who Grew Into a Crocodile is a pamphlet that I can imagine dipping into deliciously anywhere – cafĂ©-bar, beach, garden or even a busy train. In part, this mirrors the various settings found in the poems. In part, it’s a reflection of the poetry’s pull on me, so that I’m desperate to keep reading wherever I may be.

I could recommend enjoying this with a gin and tonic, as in ‘Stephanie’, allowing the liquid to slip down the throat smooth as silk, smooth as the words – a clean, clear drink that “cracked the cold ice”.

Alternatively, a refreshing  jasmine tea would perfectly accompany the zen-like care of poems such as ‘Miniature Garden’.

Another option for later in the day is a glass of white wine, enjoyed on the lawn, with unmown grass, the “simple yellow greetings” of wild flowers  and surprising long light of an evening in June where “we’ve hours before it gets dark” (‘Isn’t it light tonight?’).

But The Girl Who Grew Into a Crocodile is a collection, like its title poem, that also has teeth. For these poems, and the poems of beach air, the sharp salt tang of a tequila – a strong drink for strong poems, with a hint of fire and sunshine in every mouthful.

The one important characteristic is a flavour that lingers and tempts, like the pamphlet, long after the cup or glass is emptied.

Anon Poet
For a sample poem, please click here.

To order a copy of Claire Walker's The Girl Who Grew Into a Crocodile, please use the paypal link below.

The Girl Who Grew Into a Crocodile P&P options

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Chez Nous recommendations for Hometown

Hometown by Carrie Etter is flash fiction so charged with repressed emotion that you’ll want time to savour all its layers.

Set in the American Midwest, it’s a world of journeys. Not always on the road. Cars get mentioned a lot…as they weave their hidden secrets amongst the ‘neatly trimmed lawn’ and ‘clapboard houses’ of suburbia in the towns of 'Downs or Towanda Maybe'.  A roadside diner is where you could imagine reading this book - the kind where the waitress lets you linger over the menu.

This is no time for American Pie, though.  You’ll want your coffee strong, espresso style, with dark silky chocolate.  I’m thinking death-by-fudge-cake or pancakes with molasses and a jug of cream on the side.

You’ll need deep, lingering flavours to savour as you view Etter’s take on these fractured hometowns where trouble comes to the door and knocks. Sometimes the door gets opened – usually to a surprise: a woman who hides her drinking eyes behind dark glasses in 'Prospects' or a strange paper ball containing ‘the iridescence of tears’ in 'Mauve'.

To complement this complex cast of characters, may I recommend a bourbon - New Richmond Rye - with its fine blend of grains that may just be the match for savouring Etter’s linked fictions 'Manslaughter'…or when considering the effects of generation upon generation, perhaps a Border Straight Bourbon, made from traditional aging with no shortcuts, is the one to whet your juices.

Wait.  We’re not in the bars of Minnesota or Wisconsin now. It’s going to have to be a Jack Daniels or nothing.

Perhaps it’s time to pour another coffee.

Jane Campion Hoye

For a sample flash from Hometown, please click here. The pamphlet is officially published on 4 April 2016, and copies may be pre-ordered (for posting the week of publication) using the paypal link below.

Hometown with P&P

Jane Campion Hoye is a poetic writer, storyteller and performer, who has gathered knowledge of a diversity of wines from around the world…whether filming in a German vineyard or sampling the liquid silk of a smooth cabernet on Stellenbosch’s wine route in Cape Town.  And not only wine. Her poem 'Waterfall Glory', recently selected for international publication Inspired By My Museum, was first penned on a visit to the Guinness Museum in Dublin.