The Republic of Motherhood by Liz Berry

the republic of motherhood

I bought this on a whim – having heard nothing about the poet or the book – purely because it was a beautifully made and printed little chapbook, by a publisher who I don’t think normally does them (Chatto & Windus).

After a little bit of digging, I think the reason for this short collection is because, after her Forward Prize winning first collection Black Country, the title poem of this new collection is currently shortlisted for this year’s Foreword Prize for Best Single Poem. And it’s an excellent poem, using the repetitions of the word Motherhood to great effect. Whilst excellent, much better is the following poem, Connemara, which discusses becoming pregnant, and has some absolutely beautiful language such as “The drizzle / made sore music / of my nerve ends”.

Sadly, whilst there are interesting and not so interesting poems that follow, the book doesn’t hold together as a book for me. Certainly a poet to watch, and I have ordered her first collection to read, but this one was a miss for me.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

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