Well, I couldn’t not read it… After all, a poetry book winning the Costa Book of the Year..! When did a poet last win?! (ans. ’99 & ’96 Seamus Heaney, ’98 & ’97 Ted Hughes)
I needed to know what all the fuss was about.
Well, there are some great poems in Hannah Lowe’s “The Kids” even if – and not unnaturally – there is also a little variation in terms of form and content too. But what else would you expect? Sonnets are not easy.
However, perhaps the overriding thing we should take away is that a poetry book won the Costa, and that the poetry in that book is accessible and not some phoney mumbo-jumbo spread all over the page hoping lack of form will mask lack of quality. And that poetry is in rude health (there were 16,000 poems entered in the ’21-’22 National Poetry Competition!). And that it is being taken seriously. [I know lots of people think its resurgence – if that’s what it is – has come about directly as a result of Covid and lock-downs.]
I suspect the Muses have never been so busy…