V. Press is very very delighted to announce the publication of The Beautiful Open Sky by Hannah Linden.
“The Beautiful Open Sky opens with an extraordinary run of poems, heartbreaking and precise, about the damage done by a narcissistic mother. As it progresses, the poems accumulate symbols, becoming increasingly phantasmagorical, before the patterns of a new life emerge as if through broken cloud. It works as a story, direct and emotional, but is also a meditation on how we remember – on the limits of reason and metaphor as ways of understanding the past. This is a fine model for a pamphlet: a focused set of beautiful poems, cunningly arranged, which draw power from each other. A wonderful debut.”
“Truths are slippery and sometimes sinister in this stunning exploration of familial relationships by Hannah Linden. It can be hard to know who to trust, or who is parenting whom. But there is beauty here too, and a positivity that shines through despite the odds. Self-reflective and superb, Linden’s use of language is playful and imaginative. I can’t wait to see what she does next.”
The Beautiful Open Sky is very past and very present.
A sample poem can be enjoyed below.
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Snow-born to a drift of a girl.
My hand: her hand, HER hand.
My hand is a doll. Bend this way
bend that. Build snow-men—
coals for their eyes, the bruise
of their stares: boys that are men.
Girl drifts into woman. Mother
me, she sighs; sister me the winter.
Grow. Don't grow. Pick a flower
for a self. Be a bulb in a cupboard.
Bloom me for Christmas. Sip of nectar
that sits with a view of the yard.
Home is the vinegar bottom of a jar.
She births more children, neighbours, sherbets
dipped bitter with liquorice. Today she wants me
film-star, cat-suited in red. Find me a song
she hasn't sung. She jived them orange.
She has rhythm but no time.
She catalogued me a fable, said you will
understand when you are a mother.
Listen to Hannah read her poem 'Mindstrap' here: