Nominated for the 2014 Saltire Society Poetry Book of the Year Award.
‘…this is a collection of grandiose, visionary poems about the nature of life and death.’
‘If Locust and Marlin were a house, estate agents would describe it as ‘full of character’. Some of its rooms are cluttered with possessions and photographs, each with their own story to tell, while some are clean and full of light. The corridors that link these rooms are ones we all walk down, deciding how and where to live, and who to share our lives with. Edinburgh-based poet, JL Williams, asks us to consider these questions in a beautifully structured second collection which, before we even get to the poems meets us with its gorgeous matt cover, a lino-cut I think, by the printmaker Anupa Gardner, which is soft to the touch and introduces us to the sensuous world Williams creates.’
‘The star of the evening was JL Williams, with a pitch-perfect delivery that had the audience hanging on every dreamy word. Her poems were beautiful and mythic, conjuring evocative imagery that filled the room with magic.’
‘There’s a refreshing brevity to Williams’ work, splashes of life and colour that aren’t afraid to let themselves stop ahead of schedule… A quiet confidence permeates the collection, in which the poet taps us on the shoulder to ask what we’re doing.’
Locust and Marlin considers how, in lives bright and brief as a candle’s burn, we tell our stories and locate the places where we live and love. Where is the origin, our point in space from which we view the world? How much control do we have over who we are and what impact we have on the territory we inhabit? In a world whose boundaries and pathways are increasingly difficult to define, how do we find our way home?
Listen here to a Scottish Poetry Library podcast about Locust and Marlin.
JL Williams reading at Main Point Books, August 2014.
You can order your copy of Locust and Marlin from a variety of outlets:
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Cover Image by Anupa Gardner, with many thanks.