There are so many poets who know how to craft pieces, who can hit all the right notes in terms of technique, but fewer whose work is not only honed, but distinctive – original voices with something to say. Frances Spurrier’s poetry grabs the reader’s attention and holds it, not with showy performance, but with beautifully turned phrases; visceral images in precise language; lyrical and well-controlled lines and the ability to create haunting moments in time. The observation is acute; Spurrier casts a keen, but compassionate eye on the ephemeral nature of life that nonetheless retains its resilience so that:
Tomorrow we will say,
this has happened and the rain fell silent;
this has happened and we will go forward.
Frances has honed her poetry to produce a fine collection that operates at the borderlands of identity and history, with work that displays both a personal and a mythic reach. - Siobhan Campbell
Frances Spurrier understands the uses of enchantment: to seduce, to warn and to transform. The Pilgrim’s Trail enters a world of shared memory and imagination and reminds us that we all lived there once. - Fiona Sampson