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A Sky Full of Strange Specimens by Olga Dermott-Bond

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A Sky Full of Strange Specimens is an exploration of restraint and freedom, and emotional upheaval and uncertainty. The surreal title of the pamphlet comes from a line in my opening poem, which tells about a great storm in Ireland in 1839, where entire houses were blown away, and there are storms and tremors to be found throughout the pamphlet.

Life in lockdown confined our lives within four walls, so perhaps it is not a surprise that much of my collection recalls and imagines different domestic settings, and the emotional stories connected to them: bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens, caravans all become rich ground to reflect on the minutiae of how we live. Some of my work is autobiographical, but there are many different female figures from history and literature - from Anne Bonny to Miss Havisham - who make an appearance

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote about riotous excursions into the human heart and I find it fascinating that however we live our lives and whatever we do (or don’t do) we can’t ever avoid these strange, sad and wonderful journeys, without going anywhere at all.

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