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Susie Wild


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‘Windfalls, Wild’s second collection, delivers another deft, witty, and heartwarming series of poems… Wild writes of overgrowth, decay, and the curious beauty and distraction of these things, as a neighbour’s overgrown fruit tree bombards the speaker's garden… This contrast between the fascination of the untamed and the mundane – bills, meals, old relationships – is a golden thread that passes through the poems within Windfalls.’ – George Sandifer Smith, Poetry Wales

‘Powerful, beautifully crafted poems... there’s nothing like poetry to cut down the spaces between us, to leap across gaps, make a friend of a stranger.’  – Jonathan Edwards

'Wild comes across as the poetic equivalent of Jean Rhys: wry, arch, a little world-weary but, unlike Rhys, with a sparkling glint of humour... A very affecting collection of poems indeed.' –  Buzz Magazine

'This latest collection by Susie Wild is substantial, touching, entertaining and very fresh; [...] love and life fall and decay but also one finds strange, unexpected gifts.' – Gwales

‘Wild uses her poetry to create shards of experience into beautiful objects for display, handing them over to her reader for inspection. Taking up this  invitation is a joy … Windfalls is excellent poetry: Wild is an excellent poet … For well-crafted and enjoyable poetry, you could not do much better.’ – the welsh agenda


1 : something (such as a tree or fruit) blown down by the wind
2 : an unexpected, unearned, or sudden gain or advantage

It is the night my driver’s door opens
    at the traffic-jam-junction, the stalled
        red lights. The click as the door in front unlocks. His sudden
            lunge forward, the fast words, a swung fist at the other driver,
                caught cold, and I watch––

From ‘In this battle, there won’t be many hugs’, 2nd prize winner
in the Welshpool Poetry Festival Competition 2020 


In Windfalls, Wild writes of fruit blown down by the wind, of unexpected and unearned gains which renew the beauty and joy of life. Here flying trampolines disrupt trains, apples carpet gardens, the Balloon Girl rises and the red moon sinks. In a city of ups and downs the Handkerchief Tree rare-blooms, fists and knickers are flung, crestfallen angels consider dates, carnivores go hungry, wedding vows are made and a pandemic honeymoon is cancelled. These are also stories of heroines who fall or jump from pedestals, taking risks in a world that is often dangerous for women, but refusing to settle for the conventional. Wild continues to bring us her refreshingly slant world view, whether unpicking the domestic, the political or the environmental.


Praise for Better Houses (Parthian, 2017):

'These poems are spells whose words bewitch the ordinary and transform the objects and routines of our human world with their word-magic.' – Gillian Clarke

'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

'Susie Wild’s Better Houses announces a new, highly distinctive and exciting poetic voice. [...] The author’s balance between opening the door for the reader, and then hitting them with the poem’s highly original approach to language and a slightly slant way of looking at the world, make these poems highly entertaining and rewarding. [...] an accomplished and auspicious debut...' – Jonathan Edwards, Ink Sweat & Tears

'reels gorgeously from a restaurant to the seashore to the night sky [...] an unfinished journey through the experiences and signs that tell us we're home.' – Elizabeth Edwards, Planet International

'exuberant and smart [...] Half-remembered, half-invented, but wholly charismatic.' – Sophie Baggott, Wales Arts Review

'Wild clearly has a sense of fun. Her poem, "Pub Crawl Date" – cataloguing a nine-pint epic evening out – had me chuckling out loud. So too, ‘The Bed Testers’. But, in my view, Wild is at her best when she is more serious and, to this end, there were several stand-out poems. [...] Similarly, there is a Plath-like forensic quality to ‘The Lash Museum’ which I also really enjoyed. It opens with "A gutsy Cornish wind / slammed the caravan door shut, / skinning a birthmark, / my head / a blood fountain." The poem’s protagonist is then raced to hospital for attention and when the stitches are removed, she keeps them as morbid reminders of her pain: "clumped lashes a-flutter / in a plastic pot."' – New Welsh Review

'As the title hints, Susie Wild’s book Better Houses touches on some of the pressing concerns of the era (the housing crisis, social inequality). In "Gentrifying the Area" she reflects on the rate of change ("three short months") that puts "tumbledown terraces" "on / the up, like the house prices". The poet reflects on her part in the process. She presents herself as the artist type whose cultivation of an area increases its value [...] Forced out in search of lower rent, the poem ends: "There are worse ways to be going, going / gone." It’s an interesting angle to take and reflects the book’s insistence to make the most of things, being whimsically enthused or tuttingly aggrieved with one’s (always temporary) lot in life.' – Edward Doegar, Poetry Wales

'Perhaps this is the message she wants to leave us with, the importance of opening doors and allowing for reintegration within an individual as well as across relationships through decency and kindness. Readers of all types will find something marvellous here.' – Mary Jacob, Gwales


 Susie Wild is author of the poetry collection Better Houses, the short story collection The Art of Contraception listed for the Edge Hill Prize, and the novella Arrivals. Her work has recently featured in Carol Ann Duffy’s pandemic project Write Where We Are Now, The Atlanta Review, Ink, Sweat & Tears and Poetry Wales. She placed second in the Welshpool Poetry Festival Competition 2020, was highly commended in the Prole Laureate Prize 2020, was shortlisted for an Ink Sweat & Tears Pick of the Month 2020 and longlisted in the Mslexia Women’s Poetry Competition 2018. Born in London, she lives in Cardiff.