Jacqueline Saphra’s All My Mad Mothers explores love, sex and family relationships in vivacious, lush poems that span the decades and generations. At the heart of this collection of poems is the portrait of a mother as multitudes – as a magician with a bathroom of beauty tricks, as necromancer, as glamorous fire-starter, trapped in ever-decreasing circles and, above all else, almost impossible to grasp.
With an emphasis on the cultures of the different times, we tread a tantalising tightrope between the confessional and the invented. These astute poems step assuredly from childhood’s first exposures to the scratched records and unsuitable lovers of young womanhood, the slammed doors of daughters and sons, the tears and salted soups of friendships, and the charms of late love. All the time, incandescent and luminous as an everlasting lightbulb, at the heart of each of Saphra’s poems is a delicate filament kicking out a heavy-duty wattage.
Jacqueline Saphra’s first pamphlet, Rock’n’Roll Mamma was published by Flarestack in 2008 and her first full collection, The Kitchen of Lovely Contraptions (flipped eye, 2011)) was developed with funding from Arts Council England and nominated for The Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. A book of illustrated prose poems, If I Lay on my Back I saw Nothing but Naked Women, was published by The Emma Press in November 2014. This was developed into a performance piece with music and won Best Collaborative Work at the Saboteur Awards 2015. She teaches at The Poetry School.