The powerful, tight prose passages interspersed with spare, elegant poems not only communicate the visceral details of a specific time and place, but also open up questions of how memory works, its gaps and its intensity, above all how its scars resonate through a life. A highly accomplished and compelling pamphlet from an experienced poet.
In War Baby, A.C. Clarke vividly and with penetrating honesty remembers some of the key emotional moments of her war-torn childhood in London. Her youthful memories spring off the page with a power that is fresh, raw, sharp and bitter-sweet, her words reaching to the very core of love, loss and longing and thereby reaching into our own hearts. At one and the same time Clarke manages to be that little girl and the sensitive, thoughtful, observant poet that she is. This evocative and moving collection can only add to her growing reputation as a poet of enormous talent.
Robin Lloyd Jones
Extract from 'First House'
I don't remember bombs, have always hated firework. I remember holes like giant cisterns, concreted over, groundsel fighting through cracks. And grey. Pavements grey, houses grey, sky grey, grey dust on the privet. Noise. Clangour of the playground bell, street cries, squabble of sparrows.
Smells. Dog-shit baking under a hot grey sky (was it ever clear blue?), sulphur woven into a scarf of fog, incense cloying my brain in the church where once the marble altar steps rose up to meet my forehead, seamed it for life.