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Elizabeth-Jane Burnett

Penned in the Margins




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64 pages

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Plunge into mountain lakes and drift along meandering rivers in Swims, the debut poetry collection by Elizabeth-Jane Burnett! A long poem taking many forms, Swims begins and ends in Devon, moving across the waterways of England and Wales: from urban pond to open sea. The poet swims among fishermen on Grasmere, reimagines the body as bottle cap in the Channel, and clambers down the bank of the river Ouse with words scrawled on her swimsuit. As political as they are personal, these meditations are conceived as environmental acts that probe the relationship between landscape, memory and the self. A sinuous, innovative debut, Swims reminds us of the power of swimming to transform the human spirit, registering what the water gives to us and what it takes away. Elizabeth-Jane Burnett is a poet and academic with a focus on innovative poetics. She holds a BA in English from Oxford, an MA and PhD in Contemporary Poetics from Royal Holloway, University of London, and studied performance at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York and Naropa. Her work has been anthologised in Dear World and Everyone In It: New Poetry in the UK (Bloodaxe, 2013) and Out of Everywhere 2: Linguistically Innovative Poetry by Women in North America and the UK (Reality Street, 2015). Her debut poetry collection Swims was published to great acclaim by Penned in the Margins in 2017 and her next collection Of Sea is coming in May 2021. Her nonfiction exploration of memory and natural history, The Grassling, was published in 2019 by Allen Lane. She curates ecopoetics exhibitions and is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Newman University in Birmingham.
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