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Pelt Paperback – 24 May 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd (24 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852249315
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852249311
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 705,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


Sarah Jackson's "Pelt" (Bloodaxe), longlisted for the Guardian first book award, is a collection of dark, surreal and sometimes nightmarish narratives that haunt the memory. --Adam Newey, The Guardian, Best Poetry of 2012.

These poems have a dream-like, hallucinatory quality. Intriguing and mysterious, they transform childhood memory, myth, experiences of place, everything Sarah Jackson draws on for material into surreal and vivid narratives. --Vicki Feaver.

Sarah Jackson's "Pelt" is out on its own. At once peirastic and assured, these are poems of disturbing grace and power. The title-word is already disorientating: a sense of speed and assault goes with the skin and fur of what is, perhaps, not or no longer or no longer only human. Jackson's poems have a compelling strangeness, uncomfortably intimate and elusive at the same time. You are not sure what distance to occupy in relation to them. It is a poetry of glints and disclosures, by turns gentle and menacing, diurnal and surreal, erotic and deranged. In radical and original fashion, "Pelt" prompts feelings 'we can neither know / nor name'. Here is a new voice, a pelting of voices in English poetry. --Nicholas Royle.

About the Author

Sarah Jackson was born in 1977, grew up in Berkshire and now lives in Nottingham. Her pamphlet "Milk" (Pighog, 2008) was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award and her work appears in a number of magazines and anthologies, including "Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century" (Bloodaxe Books, 2009) and "The Best British Poetry 2011" (Salt, 2011). She was awarded Arts Council funding in 2009 and has been shortlisted for the Arvon International Poetry Competition (2010) and the Edwin Morgan Prize (2011). Sarah completed a doctorate at the University of Sussex in 2009 and now lectures at Nottingham Trent University, where she runs the MA in Creative Writing. "Pelt" (Bloodaxe Books, 2012) is her first book-length collection, and was the Readers' Choice for the longlist of the the Guardian First Book Award.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Eleanor TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 1 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback
Reading Sarah Jackson's debut collection of poems is an unsettling experience. Immediately the reader is launched into a world in which the uncanny is always breaking through, when in a single line we realize we are in a nightmare. The first section of "Pelt" largely treats of domestic life, but these household scenes reveal strange and often monstrous fathers, mothers, and children. In 'Ten O'Clock Horses', a daughter describes the end of a family evening: "First he snuffs the lamp. / Then he snuffs my mother. / She lands softly, like teeth." After reading 'Old Fatty Knees', the title elicits feelings of dread, and the horror comes to a pitch in the final poem of the section, 'Revolution'.

After these powerful opening poems, Part II came as something of disappointment, as the poems turned to more predictable subjects, mainly based around various foreign trips taken by the speaker. Personally, I felt that many of these poems, although not bad, could have been left out to create a stronger volume as a whole. The sections which follow however, are once more enjoyable and the uncanniness continues. In 'November' the speaker is held in some sort of institution, with the poem ending thus:

Some days, I plan to break out,
but they say the walls are solid
bone reinforced with white paper.
Besides, I've seen their binoculars.

Instead, I curl up like a nut.
Yesterday, I found if I drop things
they make a noise but never break.
Later, I'll drop myself from the ceiling.

A poem of apocalypse begins: "It starts when the children go blackberrying, / return with mouths smeared with milk.
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