Chan is a mercurial name, representing the travellers and shape-shifters of the poems in this collection. It is one of the many nicknames of Hannah Lowe’s Chinese-Jamaican father, borrowed from the Polish émigré card magician Chan Canasta. It is also a name from China, where her grandfather’s story begins. Alongside these figures, there’s Joe Harriott, the Jamaican alto saxophonist, shaking up 1960s London; a cast of other long-lost family; and a ship full of dreamers sailing from Kingston to Liverpool in 1947 on the SS Ormonde.
Hannah Lowe’s second collection follows her widely acclaimed debut, Chick, which took readers on a journey round her father, a gambler who disappeared at night to play cards or dice in London’s old East End to support his family.
‘Here is a poet with a commanding style; her voice is entirely her own, both rich and laconic. These are poems springing from the page with vitality, rue and insight. Her elegies are restrained and devastating. An extraordinary debut.’ – Penelope Shuttle on Chick
‘This is an outstanding, unputdownable first collection.’ – John Glenday on Chick
‘An unforgettable book. In an age where blurby superlatives compete on debut book covers, this one has an edge: it is about someone, namely the poet’s late father, from whose name it takes its title… “Say”, which exploits understatement to the full, is remarkable, and heartbreaking’ – Helena Nelson, Magma, on Chick
‘Hannah Lowe’s debut collection is wonderful… a book which deals plainly and honestly with big emotions and tender, dramatic personal scenes’ – Declan Ryan, Ambit, on Chick