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Lauar Theis's debut collection, 'how to extricate yourself', contains poems from Laura's winning entry to Dempsey & Windle's Brian Dempsey Memorial Competition 2020. Many of the poems in this pamphlet come from asking ‘what if…’, escaping into one’s imagination, into the realm of the fantastical. What would it be like to be a writer in residence on the moon? Or to wake up with hair made out of spiders? To move in with a dragon? Or accidentally raise a demon baby? The poems’ speakers and narrative voices try to make sense of their narrowing world and extricate themselves through pretending, self-deception and make-believe; spells and incarnations; disappearing and becoming somebody new.
'how to extricate yourself'
"How to Extricate Yourself combines vivid narrative, seriousness and delight in language that moves easily between wry imaginative energy and resonant pathos.
This is a debut collection of admirable wit and invention, and introduces Laura Theis – already a successful fiction writer - as a poet of distinctive new voice." - Jane Draycott, Oxford University
'This little book is Theis’s debut poetry collection. She has won many prizes and awards, and I foresee that she will go on to write more poems that enchant her readers. In this poetic world, shapes are rarely definite and can change instantly in unexpected and sometimes grotesque or fearsome ways; love is punctuated by space and distance, and entrances are accompanied by exits.'
Read her full review here: https://memoryandyou.org/2020/11/28/a-sparkling-debut-review-of-poems-by-laura-theis/
"Grabbed me not just for the overall quality from poem to poem but also from line to line... I could have read these poems all night and still have read some more."
- Paul McGrane, who selected Laura Theis as the winner of the 2020 Brian Dempsey Memorial Pamphlet Prize
"In these poems which sing and see from a distance, Laura Theis is in complete control of tone – never forced or rushed, convinced the gentlemen callers will leave having not detected the fire in the grates of the witchy girls. 'Like the quiet mother of a wilful child,' Theis would have a terrible yearning fill us, 'but don't hold it,' encouraging us at once to experience fully and let go our desire for attachment. It is a book of entrances and exits - the astronaut's wife, a lover on the moon – reports from a world where jellyfish are admirable, space and distance present both in the barely punctuated lines and between partner and partner. These poems are resourceful and magical, tracing infinity 'the way bees love to eat / honey but also make honey.'
- Matt Bryden, Judge of the 2020 Charroux Prize
"No one else does weird and tender quite like Laura Theis."
- Kiran Millwood Hargrave, poet and novelist
"A witty and playful collection from a gifted poet who blends delicate lyricism with candid confession. An engaging and fresh new voice."
- Anna Saunders, 2020 Wirral Prize Judge & CEO of Cheltenham Poetry Festival
'how to extricate yourself' by Laura Theis
Paperback 14.8 x 21cm
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