The universe has never been depicted so intimately, nor the mundane so infused with stellar significance, as it is in the poetry of Vicki Husband.
This debut collection is as inspired by quantum physics as it is by domestic drama: the shape of the universe is mimed during a game of charades; a woman’s domestic arrangements take on a cosmic dimension; a man stands on the corner selling black holes and property on the moon. Her nature poetry stands at an odd angle to her subjects, not merely content to observe or eulogise landscape or animals: she wants to know what police horses patrolling Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street on Saturday night make of the drunken revellers or why jellyfish are flashmobbing a nuclear power station.
Her imagination is rooted in compassion, particularly for the elderly and, in one especially moving piece, a man slowly dying from asbestosis. With sympathy, humour and an idiosyncratic eye, Husband reveals herself to be a unique and cherishable talent.
“This impressive first collection is imbued with a thirst for knowledge and a need to explore, and make sense of, the world around us and our place within it. To do this it offers time and again memorable vignettes as evidence: the tentative first steps in a relationship; the small every day declines of an ageing parent; footprints of our first ancestors; buying black holes; and the beginning of universe itself. Ultimately this poetic journey full of surprising twists and turns leaves you more alive to the possibilities and connections that surround us each day.”
-Jim Carruth, Glasgow Poet Laureate
“The magic of this collection emerges from its juxtaposition of the cosmic and the everyday, the universal and the particular. In ‘The man on the corner of Sproul Plaza sold black holes,’ Husband buys a black hole from a street vendor. In ‘Of those that rise at night,’ supergiants sleepily put on the kettle or stagger to the bathroom. Husband is unafraid of the obscure and uncynical about the unusual or supernatural. This collection is confident in its curiosity about the world. It makes you want to look at your daily life in a whole new way, to look for magic and myth in the earthly and ordinary.”
-Phoebe Nicholson, Scottish Poetry Library volunteer
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- Vagabond Voices
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