Thanks to Mark Connors and Gill Lambert, I had a guest slot on one of their Friday Night Word Club events in September, and am looking forward to joining them again on 30 October … at the open mic, this time.
David Ashbee has also invited me to be one of the nine guest poets at the Dempsey and Windle launch event for his magnificent collection ‘Poems from the Mind Shop’ on 28 October. It’s a 5-minute slot, and I intend to read a poem from my Indigo Dreams Pamphlet ‘Interned at the Food Factory’ (2019) as well as a couple from ‘Dualities’. The other guest poets are:
M E Muir
I’m available for reading at other Zoom poetry events, so please message me if you’re looking for a guest poet … or if you are running an open mic. Happy to do a full 15-20 minute set, a swift 5-minute showcase, or simply to share a poem or two at an open mic.
Thank you to the following poets who have commented on Dualities:
Endorsements prior to publication
Oz Hardwick (Professor of English, Programme Leader for Postgraduate Creative Writing at Leeds Trinity University) has written:
“There’s a lot to be said for / being an outsider inside,” and Sharon Larkin’s perceptive collection perfectly explores the dualities of being a stranger in one’s social and personal spheres, as well as in one’s own body. The poems explore the paradoxical intensity of dissociation, with delicate touches of domestic surrealism and scorched-black wit chalking the outline of desire, deception, and a secular redemption of sorts. This is uneasy reading, full of the naked-edged truth that lies unseen beneath so many magnolia-painted lives.”
Angela France (Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, University of Gloucestershire) writes:
“Sharon Larkin is a keen photographer and her trained eye is evident in this collection; not only in the precise, sensory, detail but also in the care she takes with the angle of approach for each poem. The poems cover a range of themes but the Dualities of the title is evident throughout, always subtle and often in the form of a surprising twist which delighted me as a reader. Sometimes it is a line, other times a single word which re-focuses the whole poem such as in ‘Mismatch’, where the word ‘proprietorial’ in the last line turns tender care to something else entirely.”
Pat Edwards (Welshpool Poetry Festival) has written:
“This is both a romp and a skirmish, a disturbing dream and a garden of delights. Larkin forces us to encounter what we might call love, lust, longing, and examine these stormy forces through all the stages of life. Honest, sometimes cynical, the poems explore the sparks, flames and embers that burn us all. Perhaps the most stark warning concerns times in our lives we might compare with dusk, when our vision is not always clear, and we “must chance a snarl” in order to discern dog from wolf.”
Reviews since publication
Widely published poet Michael Newman has written:
“I’ve enjoyed every poem … am reluctant to pick out favourites, but ‘Nocturne’ really impressed me with its imagery and clever rhymes. And a real touch of humour. I was also much taken by ‘August Evening with Lonicera’ … again, imagery and a touch of humour. And humour really comes to the fore with ‘Skulduggery’. Gorgeous!”
Equally well published, David Ashbee has observed:
Reactions from David Ashbee
“I’m dipping into Dualities. My first reaction was to find poems that spoke to me and felt like I could have written. Later I found complexities and insights I couldn’t have put into a poem. The affidavit/ oath background to ‘Release’ is intriguing and gives a much deeper dimension. I remember ‘Armslengther’ from Cheltenham (Poetry Society workshop) and love it more now.”
David also asked to read the poem ‘Two Christmases’ from the collection for the forthcoming December issue of Talking Newspaper magazine for the visually impaired.