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shades of blue by Lucy Crispin


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shades of blue is an invitation to be present to life. By turns mischievous, meditative, melancholy and ecstatic, this short collection celebrates the natural world and the mixed and marvellous experience of being human. Though shades of blue features a variety of forms and moods, it is unified by the characteristic Crispin qualities of passion, precision and tenderness. Acutely sensitive to both exterior and interior landscapes, she writes vividly and with authority. Here, as in her previous pamphlet wish you were here, Lucy Crispin honours the truth of the heart, the life of the spirit.

“Lucy Crispin would make a brilliant scene-of-crime officer, because she notices everything, and understands its significance. And there’d be nothing second-hand about her report to the CID, either, for she uses language with a vigour and freshness that puts one in mind of Dylan Thomas or Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Crispin has a dazzling gift for representing her subjects. Situations, things, nature, atmosphere, all come to life eagerly from her pen. She has a sharp eye and a sensitive response, and no patience at all with anything remotely resembling a cliché. There’s nothing contrived; she’s always fresh and apt. Hers is a strongly individual vision, accessible, interesting, compelling. She knows her craft, is faithful to her daemon, and she has a reliably consistent voice. What particularly distinguishes her for me is a rare kind of personal poetic courage, for her tones are honest, compelling, both disciplined and passionate, both serious and moving-a rare enough combination in the contemporary poetry scene. And the human condition? She writes with equal delicacy of what lies under the skin, what moves the human heart. Such gifts are rare, even in the world of poetry. I certainly look forward to more of her work, which deserves to be far better known.” – RV Bailey

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