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girls etc by Rhian Elizabeth

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The language in Rhian Elizabeth’s poetry feels instinctual: the poems in girls etc pulse and ripple with energy, their rhythms are perfectly pitched. Elizabeth writes of personal experience with an intensity and sharpness that challenges you to look closely. girls etc showcases a defiance, alongside the beauty and vulnerability here, which resonates long after the last page is turned. Rhian Elizabeth brings a breath of fresh air to contemporary poetry.


PRAISE for girls etc:

Rhian Elizabeth's poetry reminds us that the lyric mode can be fierce, feral, and sometimes plain old fun.  Read these poems for the wild joy in them, the reckoning, the yes yes yes to life.
   — Joseph Fasano 


There is an ease to these poems which makes them feel like 'memorable speech' - they slip straight from the page as though spoken out loud.
   — Andrew McMillan


girls etc sings with heartbreak, dating rituals, love, loss and a Garden of Eden rewrite. This collection is a good friend — sometimes painfully honest, but mostly makes you feel “apple crumble warm”.
   — Hanan Issa, National Poet of Wales


three days after she broke my nose / we pinned up bunting'. girls etc is an important book which confronts frankly experiences of abuse in a lesbian relationship. The tender poems here unpacking motherhood and queer love are made all the more poignant through this contrast. Elsewhere, imaginative flourishes sparkle in the dark: a lover expands like an accordion, planting bulbs becomes 'an octopus funeral' and someone whose life is a Netflix series hangs around in 'the empty silver static'. This is passionate, resonant writing.
   — John McCullough


in girls etc love is a messy business whose  backdrop is the sound of hard and honest rain. In girls etc i found heartbreak with Bette Davis, Keira Knightley, Taylor Swift and Agnetha from Abba. Here a young mother breaks gently through patchouli scented flats, chewing gum covered welsh pavements and out into startling Swedish nights. In this gritty, witty, and often delicate collection of poems I found “naked and holy places” tucked between such fleeting moments of love.
   — Jessica Mookherjee


ABOUT Rhian Elizabeth:

Rhian Elizabeth was born in 1988 in the Rhondda Valley, South Wales. She is a Hay Festival Writer at Work and Writer in Residence at the Coracle International Literary Festival in Tranås, Sweden. She is currently at night school studying to be a counsellor.

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