A Change in the Air

'Two very different poetry collections are keeping my bedside table happy, Ocean Vuong's thrilling Time is a Mother and Jane Clarke's A Change in the Air. Some of Clarke's work, in particular, is so close to the way I am thinking now about care and compassion, I feel recognised and lifted by her lines.' - Anne Enright, The Irish Times. (The best books of 2023 so far)

'What animates Jane Clarke are love and endurance: artfully calibrated, each section of A Change in the Air is an emotional complement to the next, for each poem hangs on one, or sometimes several, exquisitely clarified observations of landscape and of the figures in it, ... But most of all, for this poet who combines the near-mystical focus of Eavan Boland with Heaney's sense of history ad place, is the feeling of being sustained by family and landscape; more still, the reaching of an accord in the breaking of bread, in the understanding of a shared purpose beyond division and difference.' - Steve Whitaker, The Yorkshire Times. Read the full review here.

'outstanding lyrical poems of place and heart...In unsentimental poems and with great tenderness, Clarke attends to her mother's decline. In a deeply personal way, she allows the reader to know or remember the terrible privilege of caring for a parent...Clarke's poems are above all else accessible, and in being so, the poet honours her reader. She removes a language blind, bringing us to the beating heart of her work. A Change in the Air is a generous collection by a poet resolute but gentle in the matter of emotional truth. - Eleanor Hooker, Books Ireland. Read the full review here.

'Clarke's precision and clean lines, together with her detailing of domestic life against historical events, brought to mind Eavan Boland: in 'Flight'set in the Troubles, neighbours helped the family load 'mattresses, blankets, rugs, cups and saucers,/wrapped in tea towels, a can of milk, gifts of cabbage and soda break.' as they left, 'family bible at their feet'... I particularly enjoyed the pared-back titles, juxtaposed with Clarke's fine lyricism, such as in 'Eggs': 'she poured fresh water/ and ladled corn into the dented tin dish, /adding handfuls of seeds and grit'...- Mary Mulholland, The Alchemy Spoon, Issue 10, July 2023

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