Eleanor Rees’s visionary poetry immerses you in another world from which you leave transformed. A hypnotic reader, her poems beguile you with sound patterns and vivid imagery. Folklore, myth and metamorphoses are recurrent themes. She is, rightly, a distinctive and admired voice in contemporary UK poetry. Her pamphlet collection Feeding Fire (Spout, 2001) received an Eric Gregory Award in 2002 and her first full length collection Andraste’s Hair (Salt, 2007) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, UK and the Irish Glen Dimplex New Writers Award. Her second collection is Eliza and the Bear (Salt, 2009). In 2015 she published a long pamphlet Riverine (Gatehouse, 2015) and Blood Child (Pavilion, 2015). A fourth collection of poems is underway. As Nicky Arscott writes in Poetry Wales, ‘Rees has an outstanding ability to act as a conduit between past and present. It is as though she has tapped into an ancient reservoir ‘remarkable and unsung’, and stepped aside in order for the reader to experience the torrent of its mysterious element uninterrupted by poetic ego or personal agenda. She slips like silt between and into different forms: seagull, mineral, light. A diver into – and retriever of – other realms and substances, she is made of mud ‘so otherly, otherly’.
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