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Michelle McGrane’s The Suitable Girl

Michelle McGrane’s new poetry collection, The Suitable Girl, is now available from Pindrop Press.

“Michelle McGrane’s exquisite, assured collection looks at how women, historical or actual, have shaped their interior landscapes and, in doing so, shaped the world. Through Imperial Russia to Ireland and AIDS-ravaged South Africa, by way of myth, legend and literature, McGrane offers the reader fine, elegant cameos which, upon closer inspection, are both sharper and more darkly beautiful than they first appear to be.

McGrane is the master of the subtle; of the sideways glance, the intimate detail. The Suitable Girl is the work of a divinely gifted writer whose work deserves to be widely read.”

Fiona Zerbst

“Michelle McGrane’s third collection, The Suitable Girl, deals with contemporary issues such as societal expectations, gender, death, grief and anorexia as well as mythology, and the sensuous aspects of food, love and travel. Though there are strong threads uniting these poems, they are of broad scope and vary in style and tone making the reading of this volume a multi-textured experience. Some of the poems are sharp, pared down, direct and straight to the point. These poems contrast against poems that pulse, swell and hum with rich, evocative sensory description.

McGrane demonstrates her obvious passion for the music of language. She plucks words from specialist lexical fields and unselfconsciously weaves them into the fabric of her own poetic voice. She gently introduces her readers to succulent new nouns, spices the texts with the exquisite vocabularies of lunar realms and 19th century apothecaries as well as incorporating the simple patterns of everyday life and speech.

Unlike many poets, McGrane does not indulge in obscure abstraction. She is not afraid of furnishing her poems with concrete detail and it is the presence of these concrete ‘things’ that gives her work a tangible stability. McGrane’s strength as a poet lies in her descriptive prowess and ability to illuminate the dark and neglected corners of the world and its people, to instil the ordinary with scent, poignancy, colour, movement and magic. After reading The Suitable Girl, its perfumes, flavours and atmospheres will continue to resonate in your mind for hours.”

Gaia Holmes


The Suitable Girl does not fit neatly inside her own story. She speaks to us from myth and through time; she is sending postcards from the moon. Michelle McGrane’s poems are packed with sumptuous words from a library-full of lexicons, they are sometimes earthy-sensual, sometimes sunlight-sharp. They open up your windows and rearrange your desk.”

Helen Ivory

Purchasing details:
Pindrop Press £7.99 plus £1.00 postage in the United Kingdom or £7.99 plus £2.00 postage if you live overseas.

Alternatively, if you are resident in the United Kingdom, you can send a cheque for £8.99 payable, in sterling, to Pindrop Press, Mallards, Steers Place, Hadlow, Tonbridge, TN11 0HA.

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3 thoughts on “Michelle McGrane’s The Suitable Girl”

  1. Oh, I thought I’d already left a reply for this posting – I must have been brain-fuzzled at the time. Coincidentally, I had checked out Michelle’s work for the first time just a few days before reading this feature, having previously never heard of her. I was v. impressed by what I read. Reminded me of the gorgeous, sensual writing style of Gaia Holmes (who I see is quoted above) whose work I also love.

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