'Grieving with the Animals'
published 1st September 2019
150 x 210mm
Polly Roberts grew up in Devon. Three years studying Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia left her with an inextricable link to the landscape, compelling her to continue to write about the creatures and habitats encountered there. Observations of both the non-human and human world continued whilst living on a houseboat on the River Avon near Bristol while completing her MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.
Polly has run creative writing workshops for refugees, detainees, and young people and curated two exhibitions in response to her writing, both displayed at the Norwich Arts Centre. In 2018, the British Council awarded Polly a ‘Writers by Nature’ scholarship, during which she wrote this debut poetry collection.
As the narrator in Grieving with the Animals, Polly Roberts takes her experience of exploring the natural world as a source of metaphor and imagery for grief and pain at the loss of a beloved person. She interweaves feelings of personal loss with her love of nature and her distress at the irrevocable ecological losses that the world is seeing. Animals, birds and their environment seem to echo and sympathise with human emotion, as the poems trace a path from innocence, through memories of happiness, to tragedy and mourning, arriving at a kind of peace and acceptance at last.
Daniel Marshall reviews Grieving with the Animals in The High Window:
'The Anthropocene poet, ecologically tuned to the grizzly death-throes of the planet, must attempt to discover some meaning in our current madness if they are to have any hope of reconciling the degeneracy that has allowed this to happen with a more enlightened outlook that goes some way to being part of the solution. Polly Robert’s debut poetry collection Grieving with the Animals published by Dempsey & Windle is such a book: authentic, earnestly moving, and aware of the tradition it belongs to.'
Read the whole review here.