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Gill McEvoy’s The Plucking Shed

The Plucking Shed Gill McEvoy, Cinnamon Press (2010) £7.99

McEvoy’s poetry just pours from your lips; everything seems to be where it should be, yet where it is startles you. From the beginning the mood is sensual; she invites the reader to experience the book in the opening poem The Green Man:

Ah, but my body oozes
honey, sap.

Come, Dip.

I suggest you do more than dip into this collection. My advice – dive head-first straight into McEvoy’s world and only come up for air when your lungs are straining. Hers is a world of folding question marks, where skin is dimpled with cold and scissors are her first “real” word.

The collection is split into three sections by a floating feather between pages, innocuous in itself, but it is the feather that frightened birds spill and sometimes I felt myself with the birds, terrified in my corner of the cage. McEvoy willingly lets us into the place she has built around herself, yet at times I felt I wanted to shout out but my tongue [was]nailed down.

In the final section it is the poem Diagnosis that for me sums up this collection. Throughout the book I felt my breath being held, and a distinct unease carried me through to where the

air goes on waiting, stupidly.
No-one can rescue it.

I think if someone had thrown me a life-belt when I set out on the journey it wouldn’t have been long before I threw it back.

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