The Zoo Father was selected for the Next Generation promotion, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize, and was a Book of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement and Independent. It won an Arts Council of England Writers’ Award and a London Arts New Writer’s Award. A poem from the book, ‘The Strait-Jackets’, was also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for best single poem. A bilingual edition is published in Mexico and distributed in Latin America and an illustrated edition is published in Serbia.
At the dark heart of this unique collection is a daughter’s fraught relationship with her dying father, a man whose legacy to her was violence and abandonment. Rich in the imagery of the Amazonian jungle (fire ants, shaman masks, hummingbirds, shrunken heads, jaguars) these poems at once ward off and redeem the father through myriad transformations. These intense, vibrant and fiercely felt poems are sure to evoke strong responses in readers.