'This is clearly poetry for the 21st - edgy and alive, youthful and intelligent... This energising poet can help us confront the unease and complexity of modern life' - Moniza Alvi & Paul Farley, PBS Bulletin. 'Her work really is emphatically of our time, capturing the world in its beauties and horrors in writing that's technically superb, but which also has what, if I was a sentimental chap, I'd call heart' - Ian McMillan, The Verb. 'The themes are ancient - guilt, grief, the almost unbearable com-mingling of beauty and suffering - but shown through contemporary globalised life in all its grossness and glory - Pollard's wit, honesty and recklessness' - Frances Leviston, Yorkshire Post. 'Pollard is still at her best with the lyrical and personal, - the themes that have always driven Pollard's work - identity, ambition, duty, guilt - with the colloquial tone and eye for life's paradoxes that lend her best poems charm and force' - Ben Wilkinson, Guardian. 'This fourth collection from the Bolton-born, East London-living, wildly talented young poet is a total beauty. Changeling witnesses Clare Pollard brilliantly re-rub some old English folktales and transcribe them to our own troubled times, as well as offering up some 40 of her own bewitching compositions. These leap ably between ancient lore and recent political outrage - this is proper knockout, stop-you-in-your-tracks stuff' - --Dazed and Confused.
This breezily modern take on Heroides is a delight. . . Pollard effortlessly brings legendary Greek and Roman characters like Penelope, Dido, and Medea, and their sorrows, out of myth and into the twenty-first century. --World Lit. Today
Ovid's Heroides, written in Rome some time between 25 and 16 BC, was once his most popular work. The title translates as Heroines. It is a series of poems in the voices of women from Greek and Roman myth -including Phaedra, Medea, Penelope and Ariadne -addressed to the men they love. Claimed as both the first book of dramatic monologues and the first of epistolary fiction, Heroines is also a radical text in its literary transvestism, and in presenting the same story from often very different, subjective perspectives. For a long time it was Ovid's most influential work, loved by Chaucer, Dante, Marlowe, Shakespeare and Donne, and translated by Dryden and Pope. Clare Pollard's new translation rediscovers Ovid's Heroines for the 21st century, with a cast of women who are brave, bitchy, sexy, suicidal, horrifying, heartbreaking and surprisingly modern. Two of the most popular poetry books of recent times have been Ted Hughes's new version of Ovid's Metamorphoses, and Carol Ann Duffy's The World's Wife, dramatic monologues by women from myth and history giving their side of the story. Clare Pollard's new take on Ovid's Heroines is another book in that vein, bringing classic tales to life for modern readers. 'In many ways Pollard, a wunderkind who wrote her first poetry collection while still at school, is a good match for the equally precocious Ovid… these are lively versions, seasoned with both agony and irony, reanimating Ovid's originals' - Josephine Balmer, The Times. 'Ovid died in exile, booted out of Rome for what he described as carmen et error -a poem and a mistake. These letters remind us that he, of all Latin love poets, understood the plight of the person left behind, waiting for news. He knew that even bad news was less excruciating than no news. And this breezy, witty translation should give new readers the chance to share this understanding' - Natalie Haynes, The Guardian.