The Violin Forest, HappenStance 2019

ISBN 978-1-910131-58-9

 

violinforest_smallwe 

 

The natural world permeates Katharine Towers' work, its intense existence resonant in thought, word and sound. Although these lyrics are typically brief, their music could fill whole libraries.

Here are poems in which yews and oak trees, foxes and owls, wisteria and roses (a few of the players) are events in themselves. 

 

The Remedies, Picador 2016

ISBN 978-1-5098-1305-6

 

Katharine Towers' second collection is a book of small wonders. From a house drowning in roses to crickets on an August day, from Nerval's pet lobster to the surrealism of flower remedies, these poems not only explore the fragility of our relationship with nature, but show what that relationship can aspire to be: each poem attunes us to another aspect of the natural world, and shows what strange connections might be revealed when we properly attend to it. The Remedies is a lyric, unforgettable collection which offers just the spiritual assuagement its title promises, and shows Towers emerging as a major poetic talent.

"There is so much to praise about the writing: clarity, generosity and grace. Katharine Towers writes with a marvellously gentle wit and a metrical intelligence.... Quite how she manages the balancing act between entertainment and something that comes close to a prayer, that catches in your throat, is beyond me." 

- Kate Kellaway in The Observer

"Its fifty or so lyric poems quiver with quiet strength, their stillness part of their occasionally astonishing power."

- The TLS

"Each of these poems shines with a soft, lyrical grace. She writes ... in clear generous language that reaches out towards the reader, embracing and never pushing away."

- Bel Mooney in The Daily Mail

 

The Floating Man, Picador 2010

ISBN 978-0-330-51159-9

The Floating Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appropriately for a book haunted by music, the poems exhibit an almost pianistic sense of timing, touch and tone. Towers writes about weight and weightlessness, presence and absence, the body in space and our oblique relationship with the natural world, always with a wonderful sense of compositional balance; she is expert at registering the huge emotional shifts effected by the smallest things, whether the scent of apples, the slant of light, or the grace-notes of memory.  Music expresses the things we cannot say, but Towers recruits its power to bring the beyond-words into the realm of speech.  The result is a debut of great originality and subtlety.

 "An ambitious, powerful and memorable debut. It's their intelligent and honest insights, always intent on offering a fresh outlook, that lend these quiet poems their tenacity."

- The Guardian

"The Floating Man has a depth of vision rarely found in debut collections. .. A fine technician, Towers responds to her subject matter with a restful directness and sure, light musical forms."

- PBS

"Katharine Towers creates a beguiling internal coherence through her use of music. It infuses her work as solid subject and in the rhythm and lilt of her silvery lines."

- Poetry Review

"There is a beguiling ascetic quality to Katharine Towers' debut collection."

- Financial Times