Kith by Jo Bell
Published by Nine Arches Press
Published 7 April 2015
74 pages

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Buy the book: UK (affiliate’s link)

Buy the book: USA


Love, sex, boats and friendship. And yet Jo Bell’s second poetry collection, Kith, is about so much more, as these bold and generous poems interweave bigger questions of place, identity and community and what these mean to us, here and now.

Delighting in the belting, beautiful turn-of-phrase, Jo Bell’s poems are lyrical and joyous, but always precise and clear as birdsong. They take us the long way home, plot histories along the route of backwaters, and are occasionally diverted for a roll in the hay; hearts are broken and boats are dry-docked. There will be tears, but there will also be love, safe harbours, and the company of wise and faithful kith.


From Crates

Observe that when I speak of crates
your mind supplies one straight away.


This is my first time reading the poet. I’ve decided to buy a new poetry collection/anthology every month this year to build up my collection again. I chose this at random because I liked the title and cover. I really enjoyed Kith. Bell is a talented poet. The poems are rich in detail, imagery and description. Many of the poems are quite short, half a page and a bit more. I would have preferred some to be a bit longer to add a bit of variety. Overall though, Kith is an enjoyable collection from a poet I want to read more of. My favourite poems in Kith were How to live in a Narrow Boat, Crates and Like Love. I’d recommend this collection.




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