Date: 18th February 2021
Extent: 72 pp
Cover artwork @SpaceFrogDesigns
"And suddenly the plagues are the most interesting parts of a city’s history."
So begins poet Kate Fox's distinctive new collection The Oscillations as it explores distance and isolation in the age of the pandemic, refracted through the lenses of neurodiversity and trauma in poems that are bold, often frank and funny but also multifarious, dazzling and open-hearted in their self-discoveries.
Fox's poetry explores difference and community, silence and communication, danger and belonging - and a world that has been distinctly broken into a 'before' and 'after' by the pandemic. Throughout, a strong voice sings of what it means to be many things at once - autistic, creative, northern, a woman. Fox measures not only distances, social or otherwise, but how we breach them, and what the view might be from beyond them.
Praise for The Oscillations:
“A brilliant collection from a poet who can pull off that rare trick, of being subtle and direct at the same time.” Joanne Limburg
"It’s both comforting and challenging to have Kate Fox as our guide through these turbulent and fractured times; comforting because Kate’s language is always inclusive and accessible and challenging because the ideas her superb poems brim with ask us to look deeply inside ourselves. I’m glad that Kate Fox allows us into her world and I emerge from reading this book better equipped for the things life chucks at me and chucks at us all."
“It is a real craft to make poems seemingly simple, that can then unfold and echo long after reading. Kate Fox’s poetic world reflects our own like a deep lake.” Kathryn Williams
“The Oscillations takes us into the deep life of a pandemic, and through a coming-of-age at one remove from the mainstream. As always, Kate’s writing is acutely observed, full of broad humour and humanity. But this is also sharp with pain and grief, and ringing with a new melancholy. An immersive, perceptive new truth for our peculiar times.” Katherine May
Kate Fox is a poet based in Northern England who has made two comedy series for Radio 4 and written and performed numerous broadcast poetry commissions as a regular on Radio 3’s The Verb and Radio 4’s Saturday Live. She won the Andrew Waterhouse Award for poetry from New Writing North in 2006. Her previous publications include We Are Not Stone (Ek Zuban, 2006), Fox Populi (Smokestack, 2013) and Chronotopia (Burning Eye Books, 2017). She completed a PhD in performance in 2017 from the University of Leeds, researching Northernness and comedy. She loves swimming outside, spaniels, Doctor Who and big skies.