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Dear Boy

Emily Berry

Emily Berry’s Dear Boy is an irresistible and life-affirming debut collection by a new poet of startling gifts.

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Dear Boy is the dramatic and inventive debut by Emily Berry. These characterful, intelligent and darkly witty poems explore lives lived strangely in unusual worlds, through a series of deft and seductive soliloquies.

In a collection with a taste for ventriloquy and wickedness, and a flair for vocal cross-dressing, the balance of power is always shifting in an unexpected direction – an ingénue masquerades as a femme fatale, a doctor appears more disturbed than his patient, and parents seem more unruly than their children. Eccentric, intimate, arch, anxious, decadent and sometimes mournful, the book’s confiding, conversational voices tell stories recognisable and refracted, carried along by the undercurrent on which the collection ebbs and rides: the anguish and energy brought about by a long-distance love affair, which propels and terrorises and ultimately unites the work.

Dear Boy is an irresistible and enlivening collection by a new poet of startling and various gifts.

Critic Reviews

This noteworthy debut sees Emily Berry making bravura turns again and again, in poems of polished phrase, seductive technique, and, in spite of the smoke and mirrors, genuine feeling.

Ben Wilkinson, Guardian
Critic Reviews

Emily Berry's debut is a treat. She is a new yet anything but hesitant voice. What is stimulating is that she approaches poetry as a flexible, permissive, dynamic ally ... Berry is seriously playful and, in her best poems, gives fantasy free rein ... [her] range is amazing.

Kate Kellaway, Observer
Critic Reviews

Emily Berry's blazing debut, Dear Boy, is this month's happy reminder that poetry is where most of the most interesting writing in young Britain is happening now ... The collection is a perfectly charming, heartstring-tugging, dead smart and LOL-playful text about living and loving and writing and being young in our time.

Dazed & Confused

Emily Berry’s first book of poems is Dear Boy, which won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Hawthornden Prize. She is a contributor to The Breakfast Bible and editor of Best British Poetry 2015. A selection of her work appears in Penguin Modern Poets 1: If I’m Scared We Can’t Win. She is editor of The Poetry…

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