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Folded Purse by Tessa Berring

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Tessa Berring’s Folded Purse is a rigorous and playful study of the known world and its ultimately unknowable things. Within its folds, poems call to, sometimes quarrel with, each other as images (a warm spell, an outdoor cow) slip from one poem to another. Some of these poems offer miraculously vivid excavations of such everyday objects as the humble scatter cushion, while others ache with the longing to touch, really touch, ‘everything everything everything.’ In a recurring dream of swimming pools, the speaker trembles underwater ‘without a doubt’, but doubt propels the questing energy that fizzes through this work like ‘an incohesion of soap bubbles/ rising through a surface.’    (Ellen Dillon)

What is inside a folded purse? Maybe a secret, a dollop of cream, or a bird. Tessa Berrings' new collection is full of objects and beings that hide and reveal their true selves depending on the intensity of a gaze, or the weather. Mutable perspectives – are we looking up at the clouds from below, or gazing into depths from the sky? Terse and sharp, a pair of tweezers picking apart the minute grains of reality, the poems also bloom into transcendence and drift away with uncanny spirituality. Desperate and funny, fierce and tender, Folded Purse is the unforgettable whispering of a poet who has her heart in one hand and spikes in the other. (Marina Dora Martino)

Blue Diode Press

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