Day #18: The Year of the Hog: “Dualities” – Sharon Larkin

Over the next few weeks we are celebrating all of the Poets and their Collections that we have published in 2020.

Today’s Collection is something truly special, from the quite wonderfully talented Sharon Larkin.

Partnerships are demanding. Reconciling two sets of expectations, hopes, ambitions, desires and demands is an exacting business. The ideal is surely a mutually agreed balance between give and take, rights and compromises, constraints and freedoms. Any intrusion into a partnership is capable of challenging it, rocking it, even destroying it … but mutual recognition of a greater good can seal and cement a relationship. With mutual well-being as an agreed aim, supported by good humour, grace and forgiveness, individuals might grow the kind of partnership that becomes something more than both of them, something greater than they might have imagined.

Oz Hardwick (Professor of English, Programme Leader for Postgraduate Creative Writing at Leeds Trinity University) has written:

“There’s a lot to be said for / being an outsider inside,” and Sharon Larkin’s perceptive collection perfectly explores the dualities of being a stranger in one’s social and personal spheres, as well as in one’s own body. The poems explore the paradoxical intensity of dissociation, with delicate touches of domestic surrealism and scorched-black wit chalking the outline of desire, deception, and a secular redemption of sorts. This is uneasy reading, full of the naked-edged truth that lies unseen beneath so many magnolia-painted lives.”

Angela France (Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, University of Gloucestershire):

“Sharon Larkin is a keen photographer and her trained eye is evident in this collectionnot only in the precise, sensory, detail but also in the care she takes with the angle of approach for each poem. The poems cover a range of themes but the Dualities of the title is evident throughout, always subtle and often in the form of a surprising twist which delighted me as a reader. Sometimes it is a line, other times a single word which re-focuses the whole poem such as in ‘Mismatch’, where the word ‘proprietorial’ in the last line turns tender care to something else entirely.”

Pat Edwards (Welshpool Poetry Festival) has written:

“This is both a romp and a skirmish, a disturbing dream and a garden of delights. Larkin forces us to encounter what we might call love, lust, longing, and examine these stormy forces through all the stages of life. Honest, sometimes cynical, the poems explore the sparks, flames and embers that burn us all. Perhaps the most stark warning concerns times in our lives we might compare with dusk, when our vision is not always clear, and we “must chance a snarl” in order to discern dog from wolf.”


About Sharon Larkin

Sharon Larkin’s Interned at the Food Factory was published by Indigo Dreams in 2019. Her poems have been anthologised by Cinnamon Press, Eyewear Publishing, Smokestack Books and more, and have been published in magazines including MagmaProle and Obsessed with Pipework, and in e-zines eg Ink Sweat & Tears, Atrium and Amaryllis.

Sharon is Gloucestershire’s Stanza Representative and runs poetry events in Cheltenham. As Eithon Bridge Publications, she publishes anthologies eg All a Cat Can Be (2018), Invisible Zoos (2019) and Poetry from Gloucestershire (2020). Sharon also runs the Good Dadhood on-line poetry project and is passionate about Wales, photography and the natural world.

  • sharonlarkinjones.com
  • gooddadhood.com
  • eithonbridge.com

Product details

  • Paperback : 54 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1913499278
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1913499273
  • Product Dimensions : 14.81 x 0.33 x 21.01 cm
  • Order signed and annotated copies direct from Sharon Larkin HERE

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