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last update:

16th Oct 11

Pascale Petit photo
photo by
Kaido Vainomaa
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poetry favourites:
Black Lawrence Press


and in the shop…
collections –
“Mama Amazonica”
Bloodaxe Books;
“What the Water Gave Me: Poems after Frida Kahlo”
Seren, 2010;
Black Lawrence Press, US edition, 2011;
“The Treekeeper’s Tale”,
“The Huntress”
“The Zoo Father”



Pascale Petit’s latest collection is What the Water Gave Me: Poems after Frida Kahlo (Seren, 2010), which was shortlisted for the TS Eliot prize, Wales Book of the Year, and was a book of the year in the Observer. Black Lawrence Press published an American edition in 2011. She trained at the Royal College of Art and spent the first part of her life as a visual artist before deciding to concentrate on poetry. She has published five collections, two others of which, The Huntress and The Zoo Father, were also shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize and were books of the year in the Times Literary Supplement and the Independent. In 2004 the Poetry Book Society selected her as one of the Next Generation Poets. She has worked as poetry editor at Poetry London and was a co-founding tutor of The Poetry School. She currently tutors poetry courses for Tate Modern and is the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art.
Website: www.pascalepetit.co.uk
Blog: www.pascalepetit.blogspot.com

Pascale’s poems are as fresh as paint, and make you look all over again at Frida and her brilliant and tragic life.


Jackie Kay Books of the Year Observer


Poems about paintings rarely set off fireworks, but this is ekphrasis with a difference: Petit speaks in Kahlo’s voice with eerie believability.


Time Out


This arresting collection… exploring the way trauma hurts an artist into creation, celebrates the rebarbative energy with which Kahlo redeemed pain and transformed it into paint.


Ruth Padel Guardian


No other British poet I am aware of can match the powerful mythic imagination of Pascale Petit.


Les Murray, Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year


Her poetry never behaves itself or betrays itself; and contemporary British poetry is all the livelier for it.


David Morley Magma


Dark and disturbingly beautiful in its writing, What the Water Gave Me is compassionate and sympathetic in representing human pain. Petit has produced a remarkable new collection of poetry, which both contributes to the artistic readings of Kahlo and presents a bleak, magnificent vision all of her own.


Zoë Brigley New Welsh Review