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Zoe Brigley Thompson

Notes from a Swing State

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Will be released in JULY of 2019

'In Notes from a Swing State, Zoe Brigley Thompson chronicles the frightening and disorientating political shifts across Trump’s America, whose aftershocks are often felt across the Atlantic. With journalistic rigour and a poet’s attentiveness to the least obvious detail, her sense of social justice is woven seamlessly into her writing with delicacy and strength, in a voice that is neither daunted nor hectoring. She is particularly attuned to the most subtle forms of both violence and hope, and so with often startlingly beautiful imagery can offer the reader new ways of gathering morale in disheartening times.' – Emily Trehair

‘This is a woman with fiery vocal chords and serious skill in exercising them.’ –Sophie Baggott

‘Brigley can quote male writers blithely making sexist remarks and then turn those masculine texts inside out with her own version of an ‘écriture feminine’ which subverts such confident definitiveness with a questioning open-endedness.’ – Ian Gregson

‘Brigley highlights the vastness and intensity of women’s desire.’ – Moniza Alvi 


These creative nonfiction essays consider girlhood, motherhood, violence at home and abroad, violence against women, the consolation in writing, trauma, and redemption.

The essays celebrate and interrogate popular and literary culture: for example the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Alun Lewis’s love letters, David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’, or the poet John Burnside’s writings about his abusive father.

These timely meditations on women, ethics, and writing bring insights that only an immigrant and traveller like Brigley could provide.


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Zoë Brigley Thompson, originally from Wales, is Assistant Professor in English and Sexuality Studies at the Ohio State University. She has three poetry collections with Bloodaxe, the most recent being Hand and Skull (2019), and she co-edited the anthology of essays: Feminism, Literature, and Rape Narratives (2010).