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Always Erase by Lauren Pope

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There is something deliciously startling about Lauren Pope’s poetry infused by a strong female dynamic. Edgy and entertaining, Always Erase, deals with difficult subjects but with such spirit and seeming insouciance that the reader, on the turn of a phrase, finds empathy break into laughter. Feisty, fierce, and funny, Pope knows how to work form to the max, from sestinas to erasures, to explore complex familial relationships, eating disorders, miscarriage, and identity crises. At times experimental, at times elusive, these poems do not want to be pinned to the page and the use of white space as an avenue of escape and divergence from the poet’s own authorial control is masterful. Cultural references, both high and low, reveal a hungry intelligence stimulated by diverse locations and experiences that feed poetry, simultaneously disturbing and delightful. – Lisa Kelly

 

Pope’s collection deftly grapples with loss, erasure and invisibility. There are shadows everywhere and the act of naming is problematic yet illusive. Pope’s vivacious language and imagery, combined with caustic and ironic voice delightfully destabilises the reader. Yet there is such deft linguistic flare and melancholic wit, enabling a disarmingly honest interrogation of memory and emotional terrain that is both compelling and devastating. – Malika Booker

 

This is a firecracker of a debut collection! The poems are frank, conceptually bold, and combine an exacting eye for detail with linguistic precision. Above all, the razor-sharp observations of beauty and pain – many of the poems actually made me ache with the truth of them – are leavened by Lauren Pope's wicked sense of humour. Stunning. – Jane McKie

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