“These poems are quicksilver – deft, concise, witty and full of fresh ways of saying things. With empathy, and sometimes anger, they skilfully lead the reader into a world of words that confounds expectation but contains its own very specific delights.” Judy Brown
“We are told ‘all shapes are made to fit’, but sometimes the world has a preordained notion of ‘shape’ that does not include people with dyslexia. In Helen Kay’s latest publication, she reflects on a ‘mother-son bond’, as they navigate a childhood where dyslexic can mean being ‘labelled “slow’’’. This Lexia & Other Languages will awaken you to their world, to ‘hear it, taste it, feel it’ in all its devastating complexity.” Elisabeth Sennitt Clough
This Lexia & Other Languages is very genuine and very human.
A sample poem from This Lexia & Other Languages can be enjoyed below.
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Short Term Memory Loss
It starts with an empty tight-lipped jug
or a foggy eviction from my narrative.
Familiar names are clinging to my tongue
I lose my spectacles and wash my purse.
A slush of turnips blackens in a pan.
Others fear dementia. I was born misplacing
mid-stairs, purpose waves goodbye. I float.
Quiz time. I parrot an answer, claim its mine.
At night I lie awake to rescue hunches
that it started with a ‘P’ or was it ‘K’?
Next day fills with Mrs Malaprop
whotsit pen drives brillig crib sheets.
Only the key things cross the neural pathway:
the days that leaked the saltiness of now
the dregs of pain the scent of being loved.
"Sometimes the more unlikely the subject matter, the more intriguing it can be, as this pamphlet exemplifies. Helen Kay, a dyslexia tutor, considers dyslexia and how it is — and isn’t — addressed in mainstream schooling and beyond, principally via the relationship between a mother and her son."
Matthew Paul, OPOI, Sphinx Review, full review here
"[...]This Lexia & Other Languages explores the inability of a neurotypical world to incorporate those who don’t conform, how dyslexics are failed by schools and carry that stigma into adulthood. Helen Kay does this with warmth and wit, crafting poems that explain without judgment or self-pity, opening out their world to a general reader."
Emma Lee, Sabotage Reviews, full review here