In Bearings, her fourth collection, Isobel Dixon takes readers on a journey to far-flung and sometimes dark places. From Robben Island to Hiroshima, Egypt to Edinburgh, the West Bank and beyond, these poems are forays of discovery and resistance, of arrival and loss. Bearings sings of love too, and pays homage to lost friends and poets – the voices of John Berryman, Michael Donaghy, Robert Louis Stevenson and others echo here. As Dixon explores form and subject, and a sometimes troubled past, she keeps a weather eye out for telling detail, with a sharp sense of the threat that these journeys, our wars and stories, and our very existence pose to the planet.
Praise for Bearings:
'Isobel Dixon's recent poems confirm her sumptuous gift of mining for melody all the way down to the syllable, but it is remarkable how she can go on tightening her focus even as she widens her range of topic. With every airport lounge a new starting point, her poetry is truly an international event. Admiringly, one is forced to the conclusion that she is becoming a poet who, far from hiding in lyricism, uses it for adventure and exploration, like a magician's cloak. Her work is a perpetual transformation, inexhaustible even though anything in it can be said aloud, and indeed demands to be. There is something new under the sun on every page.’ – Clive James
‘Here is a new collection by a poet at ease with a variety of forms and approaches, and possessing the confidence to address experiment in her work. The poems often sparkle with colour, and are feisty, full of rich doubt, and complex considerations of world and self. Much energy is released into being by these poems, whether the poet is drawing on her South African roots in both contemporary and historic settings, or whether her subject is Seville, Cambridge or Dubai. A wide-ranging collection in many senses then, venturesome and powerful, remaining in the mind long after reading.’ – Penelope Shuttle
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