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Sea Creature Regrows Entire Body by Elaine Beckett


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The title of Elaine Beckett’s debut collection suggests a process of unstoppable change. Moments of personal and global crisis are juxtaposed, and examined from different perspectives so that her poems reveal how humanity is in a constant state of flux. This is ambitious work, acute in its commitment to the truth of lived experience. Beckett’s watch-maker’s eye for detail, impeccable ear, and intricate use of poetic form, reveal truths with a compassion that moves her work way beyond the confessional. Arranged in seven short sequences, that spiral round themes of loss, betrayal, delight and re-birth, this is a beautifully wrought collection; at times hard hitting and painful, yet funny and moving, and always surprising.

Occasionally a poet comes along pretty much fully formed. That is what I felt when I first read Elaine Beckett’s poems. Not only her voice – brazen, tender and undeceived – but how it’s held in structures of great poise and resonance. Revelatory poems to be read, and read again.’ – Greta Stoddart


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