Signals From The Other explores our relationship with the other-than-human; animals, as individuals and species, plants and the whole planetary ecosystem, as well as our perception of the ‘something beyond’ that we call spiritual. The imminent climate and environmental catastrophe is present, explicitly or as a silent backdrop, in all these poems.
Whether Jennie Osborne speaks of ‘unplugging elephants’ or of hawk nestlings being ‘named in the old language’ or describes the eyes of an otter as ‘peat-dark pools’ we know we are reading a poet of grounded sensibility. Here is a poet finding new and telling ways to indicate the dangers confronting our planet. These are poems drawn from a finespun energy, a range of clear sharp perceptions, and a sophisticated understanding of how language can sing this world, however wounded or at risk.
— Penelope Shuttle
A really important collection which takes a powerful look at climate change and what it’s doing to our animal and natural world. Jennie is hugely adept at putting words together in new and interesting ways, often brutal in their honesty. The poem I like best is ‘Granddaughter’ because there’s such love and humanity in it.
— Caroline Carver
From a beautifully-depicted variety of landscapes, including moor, saltmarsh and strand, many of the creatures in Jennie Osborne's compelling new collection are signalling their vulnerability or ongoing destruction at human hands. Alongside the grief and rage evoked by this is the intense pleasure gleaned from the poet's skilful use of form, patterns of sound and language. Imagery relating to interspecies communication is especially impressive – the 'semaphoring branches' of trees, 'a host/of violets quietly clicking send'. These are vital and urgent poems, reminding us to notice the 'tender curve' of the stag's throat as well as his imposing antlers and to listen deeply 'to everything/you don't want to hear'.