'Better Houses is about the places we inhabit in life, about relationships and the extraordinary in the everyday. It has all the key subjects: birth, death, sex, love and loss. At the book’s core, it is as much about moving house as it is about trying to centre yourself somewhere, to find a place to call home, to be still. I have moved at least every six months to two years in my adult life, sometimes through choice and often not. This draws on those experiences of packing and unpacking boxes, but it also employs fiction, humour and imagination. Other poems escape fires and great white sharks, test beds and language barriers and hunt fossils and comets, spells and adventures...'
About Better Houses:
'The world shifts and transforms itself in these subtly disconcerting poems: words into bees, surgical stitches into mascaraed eyelashes, a fossil oyster into a lover's toenails. The effect can be darkly sinister or exuberantly witty, but it's always new and refreshing. This is an exciting and assured poetic debut.' – Matthew Francis
‘Susie Wild writes with poise and precision about the places we inhabit, casting a benevolent spell over her reader.’ – Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch
'The voice is concentrated, urgent; the material is often tender, even domestic. There is no contradiction in this. The poems come from raw edges of the spaces between people, and a sense of how provisional the tender things can be.' – Philip Gross
'Poems carefully built to be inhabited.' – Cynan Jones
This lively first collection from Susie Wild introduces a poet with a nomadic spirit. She tramps with humour, love, and loss across the UK, even the globe, seeking a place to call home.
Better Houses charts the move from childhood to adult life with wit and wonder. In a state of constant displacement, the poems flit from tents and gypsy caravans to boarding school, to lodgings and house sitting. The collection offers a half-remembered, half-invented life of pub crawl dates and doors slamming, as the narrators fall in and out of love and a life packing and unpacking boxes.
These poems hunt fossils and comets, escape fires and great white sharks, consider life on other planets, and prophesize white witches. In Wild’s playful, offbeat take on the mundane world, beds and language barriers are tested, areas are gentrified, lawns are mown, and heart rates checked.
Susie Wild is author of the short story collection The Art of Contraception listed for the Edge Hill Prize, and the novella Arrivals. Her writing appears in publications like Poetry Digest, The Lonely Crowd, Wales Arts Review, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Lampeter Review, and Rising. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Swansea University and an MA in Journalism from Goldsmiths. Awarded a place on Ty Newydd’s poetry masterclass, she has studied creative writing with Gillian Clarke and Imtiaz Dharker. She was writer in residence at the Mothership, Dorset, and her poems have been an Ink Sweat & Tears Pick of the Month, and a First Thursday performance winner. She has performed her poems at events like the Glastonbury Festival, Hay Festival, the Green Man Festival, and the Dylan Weekend. Her recent multimedia commission, ‘Sex Change Disco,’ in collaboration with artist Beth Greenhalgh, was performed at madeinroath and Cardiff Contemporary 2016. Born in London, she has moved from Cornwall and Devon to Swansea and Bristol. These days she lives in a house with a garden and a shed in Cardiff, sharing it with a German prop maker and their Welsh cat.