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Battery Rocks by Katrina Naomi PRE-ORDER

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Published 8th July 2024. Available for pre-order

In Battery Rocks, Katrina Naomi returns to the Cornish swimming spot – Battery Rocks in Penzance – every day for a year. On each swim, she finds something fresh and invigorating.

Exploring the sea in all its mercurial forms, Naomi questions the world through the lens of nature and the more than human. Poems like ‘And if there were no sea?’, which recognises both the power and danger of the sea, as well as all that would be lost if it didn’t exist, approach the climate emergency from aslant, offering a new take on one of the most pressing concerns of our times.

Naomi also examines issues of fear, strength and vulnerability, writing in response to an attempted rape and other experienced attacks. She questions how she can feel safer alone, in a raging sea in winter, in nothing but a swimming costume, than on dry land. In poems like ‘The Sea Speaks’ and ‘i.m. Sarah Everard’, the risks of swimming are juxtaposed with the dangers on shore for women.

Battery Rocks revels in friendship, love and community. The Cornish language and landscape are deeply entwined, and Naomi deftly experiments with poems in Kernewek (Cornish) and English. The collection ends in the strange beauty of ‘in the kelp forest’, winner of the prestigious Keats-Shelley Prize for Poetry. Finding joy through immersion in nature, Battery Rocks is a thoughtful meditation on nature, risk, swimming and the sea.

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