Publication Date: 01/04/2023 ISBN: 9781802078145 Category:

Local Interest

Emily Hasler

Publisher: Liverpool University Press
Publication Date: 01/04/2023 ISBN: 9781802078145 Category:
Paperback / Softback


Become the envy of all book lovers with your own Mr B’s sticker to show off where you do your shopping.



Situated where salt and freshwater meet, where floods and fields ‘mingle parts’, Emily Hasler’s second collection exposes the dailiness of disaster to chart the constantly shifting courses of rivers and lives.

Taking its name from the sections of libraries where much of Hasler’s research began, Local Interest maps the friable and slippery landscapes of south Suffolk and north Essex: estuaries and water meadows, coastal defences and disused decoys, possible futures and forgotten pasts.

This is a book of habitats lost, created and threatened, teeming with plants, people, animals and ‘legless, uneyed life’. Here are promontories, precarity and potential; the first English sea battle and a forgotten stuntman; rare and familiar birds; a fish die-off and a vanished world; a historic earthquake and continuous erosion. Moments and millennia are as muddled as the elements. In these poems nothing is pure and everything is borrowed. Language is hybrid; poems are ‘stolen’ and ‘observed’.

Local Interest questions boundaries and belonging, squinting at ideas of invasion and migration, borders and crossings. It asks what is ‘local’ and to whom; how we might celebrate dwelling while looking beyond permanence and ownership.

This is poetry that wallows at the muddy edges of things, that asks you to follow it ‘through every breach that was and could be’.

Publisher Review

'In Emily Hasler's second collection the natural world is rendered in all its glory, its weirdness and its precariousness. Hasler's craft is polished and still in places playful; poems like "Schreckstoff" achieve both at once, a delicate, excellent feat.' Juliano Zaffino 'Hasler's poems in Local Interest... might at times be archaic or academic; dialect or dialectical; observations of the landscape at Wrabness or Fingringhoe or the dewy marshes of the River Stour from herself, or a century ago, or from some unnamed soul who understands the fleeting nature of our lives-in-place so well that it's not necessary to mention.' Justin Hopper 'This spirited and wry collection is focused intently on the details of place... Hasler brilliantly builds this locality for her reader with delightful, sometimes comical specificity: "10 consecutive hot summers / 9 bagged dogshits / 8 CDs on string / 7 sets of Woolworths crockery / 6 pieces of oasis / The fifth rebuilding of the bridge." She is sensitively attuned to the layers of human and natural history that are found in the smallest spaces. Her affectionate, practised eye brings the natural world around her to vivid life, in poems that celebrate the intimate beauty of dwelling.' Rebecca Tamas, The Guardian 'These poems remind us that there is joy to be found through tuning into the world around us, taking stock of the smallest details, "O to be so charmed by the existence of things". Hasler's work has sent this reader down countless fascinating research rabbit holes, and that is part of the gift she imparts... a sensual patchwork composed of informational texts, polyphonic voices, thoughts, memories, borrowed terms and observations.' Jess Mc Kinney, Caught by the River '["A Mud"] might be the textbook-perfect opening poem. It performs exactly that act of dwelling or inhabiting Hasler aims for, while being invitational, innovative (its subject matter is the co-mingling of mud and tidal seawater) and representative of the body of poems as a whole... ["Goosefoot"] is simultaneously a love poem, an annotation of birdwatching and an illustration of (benign) obsession - an entirely effective and affective combination. The personal, the emotional and the external are woven through the poem across time, memory and sensory experience whilst being rooted in location... a satisfying and skilful way to summarise and bring this collection to a close.' Tamsin Hopkins, The Alchemy Spoon

Find this book on the following lists

Book experts at your service

What are you looking for?

A recommendation
Something specific
  • Mr B's Recommendation Station
  • Fill in the three questions below, along with your name and email address, and our book experts will be in touch soon with their personal recommendations

  • I'm after something specific
  • Tell us about the book, author or subject you're looking for, along with your name and email address and our book experts will be in touch as soon as possible