Platinum Blonde is Phoebe Stuckes’ debut collection. Whether wildly or wryly funny, each poem presents an episode in the up-and-down life of the wise-cracking party girl. On the surface, this is a world of dancefloors and bathrooms, glitter and girls, love and disappointment, but beneath the laughter and antics these are self-questioning poems. Poems about self-belief, self-image, vulnerability and insecurity, loneliness, trauma and survival.
Phoebe Stuckes has been a winner of the Foyle Young Poets award four times and is a former Barbican Young Poet and Ledbury Poetry Festival young poet in residence. Her debut pamphlet, Gin & Tonic, was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award in 2017, and she won an Eric Gregory Award in 2019. Her poem ‘Thus I became a heart-eater’ from Platinum Blonde won the Poetry Society’s Geoffrey Dearmer Prize 2019.
‘The fact she won the Foyle Young Poets award four times indicated her promise from the start, and her debut collection, Platinum Blonde, reveals a confident voice which is both vulnerable and bold.’ – Jessie Thompson, Evening Standard
‘Platinum Blonde accomplishes what some of the best literature does, which is to articulate a standpoint that you hadn’t recognised as such until it was given a coherent form of expression.’ – Maya Krishnan, Oxonian Review
‘Phoebe [Stuckes], who is about to release her first book, Platinum Blonde, writes quietly unsettling poems about everything from gender stereotypes to explorations of selfhood in the age of hyperinformation.’ – James Patterson, i-D
'The poems in Platinum Blonde are vulnerable, performative, and ardently female. Stuckes deftly balances violence and wit, self-consciousness and panache. She can turn a sentence on a dime: “This is how I want to die; in a boat, on fire / while Billie Holiday crawls out of a speaker.” And “Having an affair / is just getting all dressed up to cut yourself.” Get yourself a bottle of gin, some photos of your exes, and settle into a velvet chaise longue to read. You’re going to love this book.' – Kim Addonizio
‘Phoebe Stuckes’s Platinum Blonde is a relentless and relentlessly alive exploration of human interactions and very human desire, conveyed with a formal virtuosity and a real sense of the seduction of the imagination that is truly captivating.’ – Ahren Warner, Gregory Awards judge's comment
‘I enjoyed the deadpan-ness of the voice and the ways in which it established stereotypes and beauty standards, yet, poem by poem, undermined and destroyed them.’ – Inua Ellams, Gregory Awards judge's comment
'[‘Thus I became a heart-eater’] is a startling, iconic poem, and struck me to my core... I love the poem’s rebellion, its honesty, its self-disgust, its despair and its resilience. I have been that woman. I see that woman, and I will her on into her life.' - Fiona Benson, Judge, Geoffrey Dearmer Prize 2019
'While most artists merely hold up a mirror to the world, Phoebe Stuckes is not afraid to shake the whole damn thing while doing so.' – Phil Jupitus
'"It's a rough time to be young / or to care about anything" in these sharp poems of lovesickness and collapse. Gin & Tonic is a cool, tense network of desolate punchlines and defiant shrugs, all configured round a warm and worn-out heart.' – Jack Underwood
'From compelling monologues to blues pieces, every poem is charged with a savage humour, building a world where "getting dressed feels / like being stood up" and "crying in cabs / could be glamorous / if I did it correctly".' – Helen Mort, on Gin & Tonic