All the Relevant Gods has an impressive range of reference which bestows a strong sense of authority on its tone. It is geographically various but sure-footed in its evocation of here versus elsewhere, and it manages to ground its more abstract references, to science and music, in a vivid concreteness, so that it deploys the specific to hint evocatively at larger concerns.
Taking nothing for granted, Robin Houghton employs her questing, unfettered imagination to write poems which offer the reader fresh perspectives on love, loss, adolescent longing, memory and the (rarely-visited-in-poetry) theme of corporate life. She’s a compassionate but unsentimental imagist; in 'Searching for the Police Tower, Orford Ness' — A concrete bunker’s dark mouth breathes a whiff/of dereliction, down among the yellow poppies — whilst in her irreverent exploration of the often de-humanising experiences of office workers, in '1 Poultry' she invites her reader to Look out to where domes are clouds, /black antennas stricken trees, people/ blips fading from someone’s radar./A good place to fail. Confidently playful as well as seriously clever, these are poems that lodge in the memory and under the skin.
Extract from 'Prancer'
He came to us over the leads —
a connoisseur of chimneys
and gnarly parapets —
he slid between church roofs,
ground his joints on mossy tiles
while pinnacling …