Monday, 11 January 2021

One Night In January by Kate Wilson


One Night In January by Kate Wilson
Published in the UK by Wild Pressed Books today, the 11th January 2021.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the author

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


ONE NIGHT IN JANUARY evokes the bite of that month in the breath of a hare and the white blankness of the winter air. Cold hands that have clasped each other and let go, kisses under a starry night, a pose for a photograph in front of Mount Esja: a visceral loss permeates this collection.

Clouds bleached sky white, all white.
We should have spent the time standing
alerting eyes to fledgling sight, 
instead our cooing drained the air,
we ran; speed, breath, hair.

Kate Wilson’s poems leave the reader with a feeling of having watched an involving film or read a deeply-engrossing book.

Occasionally I get the feeling that certain books are destined to find me because the way in which I discover their existence seems sheer fluke, yet once I start reading I experience a genuine emotional connection with the work. This was absolutely the case with One Night In January, a new poetry collection by London poet Kate Wilson. Kate's review copy offer appeared at the top of my feed as I logged into Twitter one afternoon recently. Half a minute's difference in the timing and I would never have had this amazing opportunity to engage with her words.

One Night In January recounts an intense, brief relationship, telling its story and aftermath through 22 sensitively composed poems. I was impressed by Kate's ability to portray a mood or atmosphere with just a few words. I felt Hare's Breath captured the delicacy of those early moments when a certain future is desirable, but uncertain, and I could recognise aspects of myself in Boxes. When You Say My Name is a perfect evocation of love yet, by Words, just a few pages later, I could already sense the beginning of the end and was saddened by the loss of such bright hope.

As this collection's title implies, the poems' focus is this month of the year so it was the ideal time for me to immerse myself in the work. For me, January is a time to look back and take stock as well as to look forward so I appreciated seeing this concept reflected in the melancholy Constant. I ended reading One Night In January feeling as though I had witnessed the whole arc of a love affair play out and, remembering it again a day later, I am still moved by lingering ideas such as our now bereft poet imagining herself reduced to just an Anecdote.

I loved One Night In January and am pleasantly surprised to have found such strong work so soon after reading Nazanin Mirsadeghi's a jarful of moonlight. I usually have a much longer wait! Kate Wilson is definitely a poet to watch for the future and I shall be avidly following her work.

Meet the Author

Kate Wilson has been writing poetry since she was an angsty teenager. Now she is a marginally less angsty adult, working for charity in London. 

Recently Kate’s work has appeared in The Medusa Project (Mookychick), 14 Magazine, Porridge Magazine and The Pandemic Poetry Anthology (Gloucester Poets). 

She has been shortlisted for the National Memory Day Poetry Competition, Cinnamon Press Pamphlet Competition and highly commended in the Red Cross Day of the Disappeared creative writing competition.  



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1 comment:

  1. I find it amazing when we get recommendations that way too and books stumble in our lives by such obscure chances and then we adore them so much. I am always on the look out for more poetry as well as I will be sure to get to this one too. Brilliant review.

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