Pale Hairs Reach Between Us by Allie Kerper
Allie Kerper's debut collection gets close up with human intimacy. What's really important in human relationships? Kerper's startling imagery and diction never settle for easy, conventional answers. Love, faith, sex, identity, queerness - all come under her microscope, and are viewed with precision, rigour and tenderness.
'I absolutely adored Pale Hairs Reach Between Us. This debut collection is simply staggering in its range, its complexity, and its stunning ability to sing the extraordinary within the ordinary. The strange and the domestic are sharply and often gruesomely intertwined in these poems, whilst Kerper’s distinctive humour and deep tenderness leave the reader moved by pieces that portray intimate encounters in searingly honest ways. Allie Kerper is one of the brightest stars in the poetry firmament today; I can’t wait to see what she does next.' — Carolyn Jess-Cook
'In 1972 the artist Ana Mendieta glued men’s beards onto her face in the series ‘Facial Hair Transplants’, exploring the transfer of ‘hair from one person to another’. Pale Hairs Reach Between Us achieves something similarly intimate, disconcerting, disruptive and uncanny in language-form. Allie Kerper’s poetics is one of follicles, prickles, fluff, roots and DNA, in which exquisite turns of phrase quite literally make the hairs on your neck and arms stand to attention. I’ll return to this gorgeous book regularly, like a salon, aware every reading of new textual growth, for the special kind of emotional not-quite-therapy that the best poetry provides.' — Colin Herd