Bloom

BookBloom

Bloom

Pavilion Poetry

2021

April 19th, 2021

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‘Have you looked / have you looked deeply?’ ask these poems, rooted in the human body and its movement through an interconnected living world.
Bloom, Sarah Westcott’s second collection, approaches the cultural and physical spaces where human and non-human lives co-exist. These poems are attuned to a tender, bleeding world in which ‘all flesh is grass’ and language is matter. These are poems of resistance: attentive to non-human life, ‘eternal and plaintive … counter-balanced, strange.’
Here are field flowers, walled gardens and lost species, the particularities of ‘undistinguished things … seeds, waterbuts, palpable concerns’. Exploring sacrifice and loss, these poems push at the boundaries where girlhood and flower might bleed. These poems are a hymn to being alive in the twenty-first century - the frailties and vigour of life in all its dazzling form, its ‘looped breath, perpetual singing’.

Reviews

'Like a deep Summer meadow, "thrumming in wet light", Bloom teems with wild, restless energy: bird song, flowers, birth and death, the body in its ecstasy and decay. Sarah Westcott's beautiful poems pivot upon a strange dazzling curiosity. They urge us to kneel in the long grass and pay tender attention to the spaces within nature and within ourselves where life blooms.'
Liz Berry

'Sarah Westcott’s poems are an enquiry into perception, in which looking is refracted, and the line between subject and object becomes permeable. They look back to a time when “form and perception were … the same”, and trace the contours and textures of loss, the way longing sets birds “circling”, and green is “inconsolable”. And yet elegy is not the only key: there are celebrations, too, exhilarations of surface, colour, voices on and in the body. Bloom brings the human and its various others – the weathers, weeds, flowers and creatures - into delicate focus, attending to their forms and relationships with tender precision and care.' 
Mina Gorji

‘Sarah Westcott in her second poetry collection Bloom, picks up where she left off with Slant Light; at once fully immersed in the natural world, and yet devastatingly unable to escape the body, its attendant implications of mortality, humanity, in a world that renders us tiny.’
Juliano Zaffino

Author Information

Sarah Westcott’s debut collection Slant Light, Pavilion Poetry, was Highly Commended in the 2017 Forward Prizes. Her pamphlet Inklings, published by Flipped Eye, was a winner of the Venture Poetry Award and a Poetry Book Society’s Pamphlet Choice. Sarah’s poems have appeared in magazines including Poetry Review, POEM, Magma and Butcher's Dog, on beermats, billboards and buses, and in anthologies including Best British Poetry The Forward Book of Poetry and Staying Human (Bloodaxe, 2020). Sarah was a poet-in-residence at the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve in London and Manchester Cathedral poet of the year in 2016. Recent awards are the London Magazine poetry prize and the Manchester Cathedral prize. She was a news journalist for twenty years and now teaches poetry at City Lit in London.