Last night I was at the launch of Polly Clark's new collection Farewell My Lovely. She read for an hour in total, half an hour from this new collection and half an hour from her earlier collections Kiss and Take Me With You. She has a lovely reading voice and an engaging manner. Her poetry is wonderful, very vivid and with an enviable ability to look at the familiar from strange angles, the behaviour of a dog described as an operatic performance for example. She has been a zoo keeper and her poetry often deals with the natural world, as in Elvis the Performing Octopus:
Elvis changing from spilt milk to tumbling blue,
Pulsing with colour like a forest in sunlight.
Elvis does the full range, even the spinning top
that never quite worked out, as the striplight fizzes
and the flylamp cracks like a firework.
Elvis has the water applauding,
continue reading this poem.
Her topics are wide ranging though and also include snooker and roadworks. If you've never read her work, I'd definitely recommend buying one of her collections (you can buy them from her website) or going along to hear her read if you get a chance.