Monday 22 February 2021

Yield by Claire Dyer BLOG TOUR @ClaireDyer1 #Yield @TwoRiversPress #Poetry


Three definitions of the word Yield give meaning to the odyssey undergone in Claire Dyers third collection: a journey which sees a son become a daughter, and a mother a poet for both of them. 
Charting these transitions, the poems take us through territories known and familiar landscapes of childhood, family and home into further regions where inner lives alter, outer ones are reimagined. Whether evoking clinic visits, throwing away old boyhood clothes, grieving over whats lost, these honest and unashamed poems build to celebrate that place at the heart of motherhood where gender is no differentiator and love the gain.

Yield by Claire Dyer was published on 21 February 2021 by Two Rivers Press. My thanks to the author and publisher who sent my copy, for this Blog Tour.

Three years ago I was delighted to welcome author Claire Dyer to Random Things. She talked about the books that were special to her in a My Life in Books feature. This was to celebrate the publication of her novel The Last Day

Claire is a talented author, and this poetry collection took her six years to write. It is an emotive and honest collection of poems that capture her emotions throughout an incredible journey. As Claire's son transitioned to become her daughter, she put her deepest thoughts into these words.

I have read this collection many times since Christmas. I feel such a fraud, being asked to review a collection of poetry, as I'm really not an expert and rarely read poetry at all. However, every time that I've read these, I've found something new. At first read, I struggled a little, but as I absorbed the words and deduced the meanings, I began to feel more comfortable, and more aware.

There are emotions within these poems that are heartbreaking to discover. The author has not glided through this journey easily, and the poem entitled 'Fury' is an example of the darker times, but a declaration of love too.

'If you love me enough, he says, you will comb the furious seas in this savage darkness.'

I will continue to read this collection, and I will continue to learn. I can't say that I've found this an easy experience, but my God, it's not been as difficult as the times that the author has lived through.

I admire and praise her. There's an honesty that runs through this collection that cannot have been easy to express, but it's done with such passion and beauty. 

There will be other reviewers of Yield who will be more eloquent that I am, but these are my humble thoughts. I only wish I could do more justice to Claire and to this collection.

With Claire's permission, I'm delighted to share one of her poems with you here

Doing Cartwheels at The Ritz

Walk in like you own the place, I said and,
leaving the low hum of Piccadilly behind us

we did, and sat in chairs like thrones,
ordered wine which came in glasses

as wide as our cupped hands.
As we drank we laughed - the carousel

of baby grand and waiting staff nodding
small and tight to one another

as they passed by. In time, two perfect people
on the catwalk of the main salon:

stylish, moneyed, wearing tiaras of happiness.
Husband. Wife. In front of them, a child. - 

a cream lace dress - doing cartwheels
down the centre aisle as though this was a parade

and they the spectacle the crowds
had been waiting for. We smiled,

our years together bursting through
the mirrored walls in lick of magenta flame.

Cinematic and extravagant, we saw your birth, 
first words and steps, the skim of stones

on a turquoise sea, your awkward
boyhood years. Come, I said, let's do the same

and, putting down our drinks, we did:
through the onlookers,

through the music, the towers of flowers,
all the chandelier light of that particular,

wondrous night, you and I did cartwheels at The Ritz,
setting free the inner girl in both of us.

Claire Dyer’s poetry collections are published by Two Rivers Press, her novels by Quercus and The
Dome Press. 
Her novel, The Significant Others of Odie May is forthcoming from Matador in 2021. 
She curates Reading’s Poets’ Café, teaches creative writing and runs Fresh Eyes, an editorial and critiquing service. 
She has an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London and is a regular contributor on BBC Radio Berkshire. 

Her website is:

Author Page on Facebook

Twitter @ClaireDyer1

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