New Release Books by Jane Monson

Jane Monson is the author of The Chalk Butterfly (2021) and The Shared Surface (2013).

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The Chalk Butterfly

release date: Nov 16, 2021
The Chalk Butterfly
Responding to the fragile borders between climate change and mental health to evolve into conversations around trauma, change, care and the natural world, The Chalk Butterfly explores images of home and the paradoxes around our simultaneous care and un-care for nature and language. Working backwards through the butterfly''s life cycle, each phase examines the tipping points, vanishing or fractured boundaries between our environments and reflects on the damaging ways we step on both the earth and humanity. Yet in these precise, exquisitely realised prose poems there is also celebration of the overwhelming urge to adapt and help life thrive, a turning away from the despair that would accept we might ''just about manage'' or even fail in favour of moments of transformation. The Chalk Butterfly carries us on poignant winds through disruptions of the external as internal, and vice versa-how what lies within us is the key to saving creatures whose lives we''re enmeshed with, and how we might instead imagine ''what we could be inside the colours of open hands''. - Khairani Barokka Each of Jane Monson''s quietly immersive prose-poems is a light cast on the different facet of a vulnerable, interdependent world. Inanimate things are as charged with sensation and volition as the human minds and bodies that respond, sometimes painfully, to their disorder. This writing leaves us with no choice but to see more clearly; it enables us to care a little more. - Philip Gross Reading Jane Monson''s The Chalk Butterfly is like entering a strange and beautiful world where language takes on alchemical properties and butterflies tattoo human skin with their pollen. These poems are full of walls, but rather than barriers, the walls act as invitations to leverage the ingenuity of Monson''s imagination and the narrative possibilities of the prose poem to transcend them. I found myself enthralled. - Donna Stonecipher These extraordinarily vivid prose poems take us deep inside the tangle of our relationships and our disturbed yet resilient interior lives, while tracing their narrative out into the failed politics of our time and back again. In writing that is sometimes reminiscent of Anna Kavan, The Chalk Butterfly sweeps us irresistibly into those situations and states of mind in which we so often find ourselves damaged and nightmarishly trapped, yet this collection also startles us throughout into realising moments of hope, tenderness and light. - Ian Seed Jane Monson is a witness poet, looking and having to look, painstakingly counterpointing our wilful blindness. ... these poems are a narrative of little exposures only revealing the distance they''ve taken you once the whole is realised. They may be about the climate breakdown, but they are invested in the human despite our damaging, destructive ways. - Alice Willitts

The Shared Surface

release date: Oct 25, 2013
The Shared Surface
''The Shared Surface'' is a second prose poetry collection from acclaimed Cardiff writer, Jane Monson who now lives in Cambridge. A second prosaic collection of poetry from acclaimed Cardiff writer living in Cambridge, reflecting on incidents in the domestic arena mainly. Ail gasgliad o gerddi rhyddieithol gan fardd o Gaerdydd sy''n byw yng Nghaergrawnt, yn myfyrio ar ddigwyddiadau yn ymwneud a''r cartref yn bennaf. The prose poem offers the expectation of prose (linear syntax, an interest in narrative sequence and doing, and a by-no-means universal preference for metonym over metaphor) while looking to evoke the experience of poetry (looser syntax, less interest in narrative and more in being, and a preference for metaphor). The Shared Surface takes the table as its main subject and offers various incidents, mostly domestic, around it. Around the table, and on it, are gathered local storms and discords between husband and wife and husband and family, but rather than simply giving accounts of events that might or might not have occurred in real life, Monson uses the table as a setting for metaphorical events. These involve glances at fairy tale, at surreal transformations and symbolic objects. There is a destabilisation in the normal relations between objects and events. It is gently done but it still unsettles. There is a cumulative power in the poems, the sense of a story that seems to be unfolding although it is mostly folding back on itself. Poetry is a way of understanding the world in its psychological and linguistic complexity by moving between speech and song. That is what the book does. George Szirtes.


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