The First Blast to Awaken Women Degenerate
The First Blast to Awaken Women Degenerate by the inaugural BBC Scotland Poet-In-Residence Rachel McCrum is both lyrical and gentle, demanding and fierce as it carves its own path through themes of family, place, environment, and repression. The poems in the collection are fragments of McCrum’s sea-bourne journey from Northern Island, across Scotland, and alighting in Canada. It’s a collection about leaving home and what you take with you.
About Rachel McCrum
Rachel McCrum was born in 1982 and grew up in Donaghadee, Northern Ireland. She lived in Edinburgh, Scotland from 2010 to 2016, where she previously published two pamphlets with Stewed Rhubarb Press: The Glassblower Dances (2012, winner of the Callum MacDonald Award) and Do Not Alight Here Again (2015, also a solo Fringe show). She was the Broad of cult spoken word cabaret Rally & Broad, the inaugural BBC Scotland Poet-In-Residence, and a recipient of an RLS Fellowship in 2016. She has performed and taught across the UK, Ireland, Greece, South Africa, Haiti and Canada. She currently lives in Montreal, Quebec, where she is Director of Les Cabarets Batards.
Francesca Beard: [These voices] come in, banging doors, from the street and the public house and the rented room above the library, with a blast of salt air and the smell of malt and red-knuckled ideas that say ‘Let’s dance’ and there’s so much oxygen in them, to breathe them in is rich for the blood.
Stuart Kelly, The Scotsman: There is a great deal of won humour and wonder here. […] The whole collection manages to take the lyrical and whittle it into the political. […] Time and again there are snatches that stick in the memory
Annie Rutherford, The Skinny: [McCrum’s] poems – irreverent, heart-wrenching, rallying – have etched themselves into the literary landscape of the country she has now left behind. […] There are poems of the sea, bracing and surprising as spray-slapped salt air […] humour, passion and delightful monstrosity
Arusa Qureshi, The List: Another impassioned addition to her repertoire […] soulful and yet defiant
Published 30/04/2018 in United Kingdom
Paperback | 86 pages