Katrina Naomi’s The Way the Crocodile Taught Me is the eagerly-awaited second collection by this lively and popular poet. With warmth, flair and a certain ferocious wit, Naomi tears into her subject matter: a childhood fraught with dislocation and violence but also redeemed by more tender memories of a sister and a kindly, although at times comically obtuse, grandmother.
In the first half we meet the family which also includes: an often glamorous mother, a truly scary stepfather and the sort of relatives where one can expect fistfights to erupt at family weddings. The second half of the book is informed by the tragi-comic events of the first and includes: a bleak hotel, an attempted rape and a description of the sadistic relish with which the Kray twins dispatched their victims. The Way the Crocodile Taught Me will delight people who know Naomi’s work and undoubtedly win new fans for her courageous and unabashedly entertaining poems.