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'Breaking (Out)' by Elizabeth Chadwick Pywell
How do we speak through a 'red slash' at the throat? How do we become real? A beautiful pamphlet about the cost, and the reward, of living truthfully.'
- Caroline Bird,
Winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection 2020, The Air Year (Carcanet Press)
'Breaking (Out) is a veritable journey of enlightenment, exploration and emotion. At times deeply tender, at others thrashing with ire; these poems pummel at their constraints and demand to be heard. They speak of women loving women. They speak one woman’s truth.'
- Kali Richmond
Author of Gradual Reduction to Bone (Nine Pens)
'A voice determined to search through, examine and clear out the attic of a life redefined, from its inherited shame and unprocessed grief to its glints of telltale wisdom. Chadwick Pywell’s glorious coming out/coming of age collection of poems opens the window wide and holds it all up to the light of compassion, humour and truth.'
- Vicky Morris
Author of If All This Never Happened
(Winner for the Fool for Poetry Chapbook competition 2021)
'The poems in this book fizz with the energy of a person embracing their true self. Combining the joy and nervous excitement of coming out against a backdrop of judgement, misogyny and silence, the poems build to a crescendo of hope that the reader is fully invested in and a celebration of what is possible when we acknowledge our own truths. A joyful triumph.'
- Ben Townley Canning
Editor of Fourteen Poems
'I am lost for the right adjectives to do justice to this collection. Brave springs to mind. Honest. Admirable. Important. But also startling, beautiful, lyrical and, most important of all, just bloody good. Loved it. Really loved it.'
- Carole Bromley
Author of Sodium 136 (Calder Valley Poetry) & 2019 Hamish Canham Award Winner
'This is a collection about making a new life -- coming out as a lesbian -- halfway through what would have been the old life. The poet registers the pain and anger of that experience and its near-suffocating social contexts, but the sequence more than wins through to a grounded openness. That new space allows reappraisal of family and personal history with poems which are accessible and enjoyable, and there are beautiful love poems here. Readers will want to re-read this gathering.'
- Richard Price
Author of Lucky Day and Moon for Sale (Carcanet Press)
‘Breaking (Out) is a cinematic and sensory movement through isolation, tenderness and longing. History pushes us into new beginnings as the collection oscillates between tension and release. With both humour and gravitas, familiarity and abstraction, Chadwick Pywell is a distinct voice in storytelling and poetry.’
- lisa luxx
Author of fetch your mother’s heart (Out-Spoken Press)
About the Author
Winner of the Northern Writers Debut Award for Poetry 2022, Elizabeth Chadwick Pywell is a poet and teacher from York, North Yorkshire. She is particularly interested in listening to and presenting the voices of women who have been ignored or drowned in history, literature and mythology. She has been published in journals such as Fourteen Poems, Impossible Archetypes, Dreich, and many more. Her first collection, Unknown, about oft-forgotten women, was co-written by Anna Rose James and published in 2021 by Stairwell Books.
Page numbers: 32
Publication date: January 2022
Cover art & design: Lisa Findlay Shaw