By necessity, to come home is to look with fresh eyes at what is familiar. Joanna Ezekiel’s exquisite second collection captures this experience with a combination of quiet observation and vivid sensuality. She draws on her British Jewish upbringing and Indian Jewish heritage to explore what it means to belong – to a family, to a country, to a culture – in poems that sing with warmth and generosity. Playful juxtapositions of characters and landscapes create a sense of the unexpected, and her treatment of the past is as subtle as her commentary on the present. Evocative and tender, Homecoming is a collection that invites the reader into an unfamiliar place and makes them feel at home.
‘These are prismatic poems, sharp and fresh. Reading them is an energising aesthetic experience ... the whole collection a big atlas of vivid, local moments.’
— Amina Alyal
‘There’s something kaleidescopic about these small but perfectly formed poems, the spin of colours which take the reader from the tea shops and bus shelters of York to the dazzle of India, and back again in the curl of a page.’
— Andy Humphrey
‘a bright bracelet that circles the world, yet ultimately clasps itself tightly to ‘home’ in its many forms ... And, as with anything of such quality, it will become more valuable still over time, so, Take it: this is yours to keep forever.’
— Oz Hardwick
‘Scrupulously observed yet understated ... plangent, joyful and assured.’
— David Cooke
‘beautifully crafted ... delightfully surreal’
— Fiona Sinclair
Joanna Ezekiel was born in Essex in 1969, and has worked as a teacher, bookseller and librarian. She is the author of five books of poetry, including a full collection entitled Centuries of Skin (Ragged Raven, 2010), and a first novel, The Inside-Out House (Indigo Dreams, 2014). She was the winner of the 2012 Rydale Poetry Competition and was shortlisted for the 2012 Bridport Prize. She is currently an Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Open University, and lives in York. She has ridden on a camel twice, although not the same camel.
Her second full-length collection of poetry, Homecoming, was published by Valley Press in April 2016.
[Author photo by Ian Hargreaves]
Date Published: 2016-04-21
Catalogue Number: VP0082
Number of Pages: 48
Cover design by Rosa Campbell
Cover illustration by the author, based on a design by Sybilla Davis.
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