Reviews for Seal Wife
…by the second poem her changelings were creeping under my skin. A quiet horror permeates the collection: ‘If only I knew where you / had misplaced your heart…’ Osiris. And just when I expected her to slip again into the supernatural she held my heart with the pained longing of Widow. The more I read of these legends and lore revisited the more I came by the impression that I could have just as easily been reading Carol Ann Duffy, because Kitty Coles too has that enviable talent of seeming to lull one with the predictable and then nudging one awake.
– The Journal
This month we have been mostly reading Seal Wife by Kitty Coles (Indigo Dreams Press). This book is full of bones and skin, owls, maggots, skulls and flesh. A slightly surreal invitation to inhabit the body of the poet. Most of the poems are addressed to someone directly…maybe a lover, a husband, a child, and you get a sense of eavesdropping on something very intimate. The language is rich, the images from myths and folk tales unsettling, and the overall effect is captivating. It certainly made a huge impression on me and I can see why it won the Indigo Dreams pamphlet competition… (Kitty’s) debut book should be considered for your Christmas list.
– Algebra of Owls
There are echoes of Freud, Kafka and Bettelheim in Kitty Coles’ remarkable debut collection, which won the Indigo Dreams Pamphlet Prize 2016. The imagery is frequently startling, the undercurrents frequently dark and unsettling. A memorable and impressive debut.
– The Frogmore Papers
…I must also pay tribute to the qualities of Kitty Coles, a younger poet whose name pops up very often in poetry magazines… Her gothic, unsettling poems using stories and characters taken from fairtytales and myths create a particular world. Her style is cool and controlled, even if the subject matter is the darkness on the edge of town. They are poems that are outside the comfort zone; that is their point…We will be hearing more from her, and about her…
– Write Out Loud
‘Kitty Coles submerges herself in the world of myth, fairy tale and legend to meld together personal, natural and supernatural worlds. Teeming with dramatic imagery, these poems reflect a remarkable, and at times, macabre imagination. An exciting first collection that will, like the persona in ‘The Doe-Girl’, ‘leave tracks, like tidy hearts, behind.’
– Maggie Sawkins
‘This is a confident poetry, dextrous in its unforced appropriation of allegorical and mythic tropes for the purposes of finding contemporary resonance in material which, simultaneously, works hard to feel ancient and beyond the everyday. Not unlike Ian Duhig’s ‘The Lammas Hireling’, ‘Seal Wife’ achieves a powerful lift-off into the strange, the occult and the preternatural. Never less than convincing, this is an impressive debut highly worthy of our attention.’
– Martin Malone