The lodgings at the end of girlhood
are not as advertised …
The weight of our bodies, the heat of them; the thick waist of history; and the crush of possible futures, these poems reside on the lip of contemporary womanhood.
Sometimes a poet’s voice seems to land with a satisfying thump, fully formed. Charlotte Guest’s is one such voice. Her elegant, tender and surprising lyrics are tuned, in her words, to ‘invisible forces’. Her learning, worn light, makes the suburban world strange and familiar all at once. Investigating in her debut Soap ‘the lodgings at the end of girlhood’ with both wit and heart-aching ambivalence, Guest is one to watch.
These are clear-eyed poems, both tough and tender. Guest casts dappled light across the everyday.
From the Afterword:
Writing this collection has been as much about the process as about the poems. It has been an exercise in being alone and feeling at ease. It is about, and the result of, solitude. I wrote these poems over a period of six years, from ages nineteen to twenty-five, and so Soap also charts a transition from girlhood to womanhood.
From a review of Soap in foam: e
In Soap [Guest] connects us to a reality of her cohort of young women approaching adulthood through her own ‘examined life’. I am with Lucy Dougan in believing that Charlotte Guest is “one to watch” and hope this is just the start of a career in poetry.