Vicki Feaver launches her new collection I Want! I Want! The poems move from a childhood in the shadow of World War Two to the fears and epiphanies of old age, giving a powerful voice to the silenced child and the often unheard older woman.
The new collection derives its title from Blake’s illustration of a child standing with one foot on a ladder to the moon, crying ‘I want! I want!’ In the title poem it represents a childhood ambition to be a poet. In another, pushed to climb the ladder of academic and social success, she longs to return to the sensual world of early childhood. The theme of wanting runs through the collection: the teenager wants a life imagined from books and films; the snow queen wants a husband; a mermaid wants to escape from the sea.
Urgent, accessible and deeply moving, I Want! I Want! is the author’s search for a pattern in life – a poetry of witness and survival, a vivid testament to the triumph of a poet’s spirit.
Stewart Conn says of the new collection, ‘Richly wrought and lucidly crafted the poems in I Want! I Want! display a crystalline intelligence and searing self-scrutiny whether of an ambivalent girlhood or in the face of ageing. This in conjunction with Vicki Feaver’s gift for natural description, permutations of herself as “a woman buried under ice, / with words burning inside”, and penchant for startling poem endings left me reeling, as though emerging from an enchanted forest.’
Edinburgh, EH8 8DT