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A tropical atoll lies in prospect:Anna Picard recommends Outlandish in The Times Literary Supplement

It's not often that researching an opera as widely performed and problematic as Carmen leads you to find an exciting new voice in poetry. In Jo Clement's recent collection, Outlandish (Bloodaxe), Bizet's and Mérimée's doubly doomed heroine is name-checked in 'Self-Portrait as 100 Travellers, a propulsive incantation of the Romantic and modern-day slurs directed at the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. Clement's poems ricochet between the council estate in Darlington where she grew up, forced to settled, and the wild beauty of Northumberland, touching on the eighteenth-century wood engravings of Thomas Bewick. The rhythms and allusions are enchating, the imagery fresh, clear and strong.

- Anna Picard, The Times Literary Supplement, 'A tropical atoll lies in prospect: Twenty TLS writers share their summer reading', June 2022.


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