Tuesday, 12 November 2019

THE UNINVITED


The Uninvited is Chrissy Banks’ second collection and was recently published by Indigo Dreams. I have to say it is excellent and I have been returning to it again and again.

The theme of The Uninvited is “what lives in shadow is always seeking a gap.” Chrissy is a cartographer of those liminal spaces that flicker on the edge of vision, a chronicler of the abandoned and ignored:

A house that’s forgotten
bellowing air, the pulse
of music and dance -
too long without children.

There is joy and a quiet humanity in its pages:

Sometimes all you need do
is ask, walk through the door
to the next room. Even now,
they are setting a place for you.


A thread of autobiography runs through The Uninvited, there are tales of Chrissy’s childhood and the strong women of her family.

the leggy girls from Liverpool, long-lashed, lush-lipped
hairtossers, hipswingers, quickwitted teasers and twisters,
minis under maxis, some slant eye boy on their mezzled minds

Even these autobiographical poems echo the temporary, seasonal workers on the Isle of Man were known as comeovers, the mystery of who exactly Uncle Lawrence was, and a New Year’s Eve’s ferry caught in all it’s diverse beauty. Her humanity and compassion are present on every page, this is a wondrous collection.

Let us hope we do not have to wait a further fourteen years for the next one.

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