Helen Farish

Award-winning writer

Reviews of my latest collection

Poetry Review

Winter 2016

The title of Helen Farish’s new collection draws attention to her delight in quirky metaphor: the lover imagined as a library book, the woman as an idea, memory as a herding dog… Her locations are as varied as you’d expect from a well-travelled, sharp-eyed twenty-first century poet, but her native Cumbria is the source she constantly returns to, slowing the tempo to savour its place-names and define its subtle colours…A rare combination of elegiac feeling, humour, and earthy reminiscence characterises Farish’s poems.

Poetry Book Society Bulletin

Autumn 2016

The Dog of Memory is Helen Farish’s third collection, a deep and meditative ode to the power of memory. The book yearns ‘not to let anything go from this world’ (‘Remanence’) before it has been recorded by Farish’s pen. Her poems swirl, speed and then slow beneath the might of time, tracing time through place, history and literature. Clocks and calendars, moments and pauses usher us through the book, as Farish questions: how do we record our memories and write ourselves into history? The Dog of Memory handles time and memory with immense delicacy, imagination and wonderful attention to detail.

Guardian Poem of the week

‘The dog itself’ from The Dog of Memory was The Guardian’s poem of the week on Monday 3rd October, chosen by Carol Rumens. You can read her assessment, and an interesting debate in the comments section on The Guardian website

Sheepdogs are rarely treated as metaphorical beasts, and certainly not as bringers of poetic inspiration. In fact, I rather think that literary dogs, for all the instances of good and faithful service, are more likely to have malign than benign symbolic connotations. But the dog of Helen Farish’s new collection The Dog of Memory is no rough cynic but a bringer of gifts and delight. In a collection much concerned with memory as the retrieval of sense impressions, the sheepdog in this poem feels like a protective if excitable genius loci…
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‘Pastoral’ in the TLS

‘Pastoral’ from The Dog of Memory was published in the TLS on the 9th September, and was also a podcast for that week.

The podcast reading is Beginnings of life and the end of the NHS, broadcast on 7th September – I read at the end. Subscribe to the TLS podcast

© 2017 Helen Farish

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