Kay Syrad perceptive, surprising imagery and ability to see to the heart of things is never more acute than in this outstanding new collection, Inland. A novelist of psychological acuity, wit and intelligence; a collaborator with artists and musicians and a gifted editor, Kay Syrad’s formidable skill and deeply humane insights come together in her poetry to astonish, startle and delight. There is darkness here, but also light; there is sorrow and celebration; there are huge questions and the smallest moments exquisitely observed. Written with a graciousness of thought and an elegant control of language that makes these pieces sing, Inland marks Kay Syrad as an extraordinary poet.
Kay Syrad's publications include a collection of poetry, Double Edge (Pighog, 2012); two novels, The Milliner and the Phrenologist (2009, reprinted 2012), Send (2015, both published by Cinnamon); and Exchange, an art-text collaboration with environmental artist, Chris Drury (Little Toller, 2015), based on a rural residency and exhibition for the climate change cultural organisation, Cape Farewell. Kay, who lives in East Sussex, often collaborates with artists: she has worked with the international art collective Sensory Sites and, between 2013-2016, was the commissioned writer on Last Station, a multi-media arts project exploring the history of the British lightships that used to be stationed around Britain's coasts; here she wrote the libretto for a choral piece featuring an original score by the jazz and world-musician, Trevor Watts, and her artist's book for the project, 1000 tasks: work of the lightship men, was bought by the National Maritime Museum for their permanent collection. With the performer Clare Whistler she has contributed work to Art: Language: Location (Cambridge, 2013) and Telling Stories II at Sevenoaks Library Art Gallery (2014). Kay also writes reviews and articles for various poetry journals and is currently Poetry Editor of Envoi.