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Dirty Martini by Natalie Shaw

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Dirty Martini by Natalie Shaw is an exuberant and anarchic pamphlet. Shaw’s approach to poetry is highly original and likely to surprise readers with its juxtaposition of contemporary language and cocktail of strange subjects, often culled from the animal world. Fresh, funky and restlessly innovative, Dirty Martini flamboyantly follows the footsteps of Selima Hill and the feminine surreal into absurd, deliciously delirious realms.


PRAISE for Dirty Martini:

And then, out of the blue, something completely fresh comes round the corner! In this case something dark, funny, unsettling, and absolutely confident in its own singular vision. It’s as though a curtain was lifted and you’re ushered into a territory that’s a strangely persuasive kind of surreal. Hares at a party, a space pig, an alcoholic rabbit; it’s a world that’s completely accessible while being slightly skewiff and off-bonk, leaving you deliciously off-balance as you move through it. There’s a sense of looking back towards childhood, to a time before the world’s terrors and absurdities and its hallucinogenic qualities have been dampened down by reason. The poems invite you in with their charm, and then they work on you, subtly bending you, and leaving you subtly bent. I don’t know if poems are supposed to leave you feeling a bit altered, but these did me.

   — Mark Waldron, Meanwhile Trees


Natalie Shaw’s poems are always surprising. You’d think at first that they were just playful but they’re quite fierce and they open doors of varying sizes into frightening aspects of reality. They’re nifty poems, pleasing and witty and confidently made, and they leave their sting behind, embedded in your sense of things. They make you wonder.

— Ian Patterson, Shell Vestige Disputed


ABOUT Natalie Shaw:

Natalie Shaw has been described as ‘wonderfully bananas’ by the TLS. Her pamphlet Oh be quiet is published by Against the Grain press. She has been commended in the National Poetry Competition and shortlisted in the Bridport prize. Her poems can be found in many journals and anthologies, including Bloodaxe’s Staying Human.



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