Published by Nine Arches Press
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Shortlisted for the 2013 Michael Murphy Memorial Prize.
In her debut collection, Melanchrini, Maria Taylor’s distinctive poetry slips fluently amidst the worlds and underworlds of classical mythology and modernity; between her own Greek Cypriot heritage and British urban upbringing; among betting shops, schools, bar-rooms and hospitals.
Lively and ebullient, from moments of quirky humour to poignancy, these poems demonstrate a poet who isn’t afraid to leap into the heart of circumstance and treasure what she finds there. Melanchrini finds personal histories at the kitchen table, tears in the soapsuds, and a moment’s sensuality in the midst of a city market. Maria Taylor’s poems are deceptively plucky; as entertaining as they are inventive and quietly determined.
"Enjoyable, engaging, serious but unpretentious, confident and well-crafted, this is a debut collection that should attract attention – and ought to win Maria Taylor a lot of readers. Above all the book is full of life, of real lives. It has variety and surprise but is very clearly by one voice – a voice that it is good to listen to because it sees so much."
"Maria Taylor’s poems sing with the extraordinary in the everyday, full of those moments where something or someone is briefly transformed: a woman takes a merman home; a dead Aunt’s house becomes a museum where the main object is missing; the memory of morning coffee is full of birds’ wings. The power of these poems is that they constantly invoke the unexpected, and the colours and textures of both times past and yet to come."
"This is a distinctive and assured collection of poems. The writing is at once clear-sighted and fully realised. In its mystery, precision and surprise, Melanchrini shows the truth of a powerful new writer."
Maria Taylor is a Leicestershire-based poet. Her writing has been published in The North, The Guardian, the TLS, Staple and others.