Shortlisted for the 2020 Seamus Heaney First Collection Prize. Shortlisted for the 2020 John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize. Shortlisted for The 2019 Forward (Felix Dennis) Prize for Best First Collection. The Telegraph’s Poetry Book of the Month March 2019. A Telegraph Book of the Year 2019. In her first book of poems, Isabel Galleymore takes a sustained look at the ‘eight million differently constructed hearts’ of species currently said to inhabit Earth. These are part of the significant other of her title; so too are the intimacies – loving, fraught, stalked by loss and extinction – that make up a life. The habit of foisting human agendas on non-human worlds is challenged. Must we still describe willows as weeping? In the twenty-first century, is it possible to be ‘at one’ with nature? The poems reflect on our desire to locate likeness, empathy and kinship with our environments, whilst embracing inevitable difference. As the narratives belonging to animal fables, Doomsday Preppers and climate change deniers are adapted, new metaphors are found that speak of both estrangement and entanglement. Drawing at times from her residency in the Amazon rainforest, Galleymore delves into a world of pink-toed tarantulas, the erotic lives of barnacles, and caged owls that behave like their keepers. The human world revises its own measure in the light of these poems.
`Galleymore evokes an abundance of `other' worlds in these beautiful poems through a combination of simplicity, empathy and sheer Blakean joy.' - Rachael Boast; `The love poem's conventions are defined by the exclusive passions between a lover and a beloved. But for Galleymore the beloved is so many of the things in the world, the `eight million differently constructed hearts' which includes the squid's, the snake's, also the limpet's. And so she writes a new sort of love poem, one of inclusion, and hope.' - Juliana Spahr
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