Pray for us Sinners
Published by Comma Press
Like the free spirits she champions, Joolz Denby’s poems dazzle us with their bold flourishes and headstrong gestures. Untamed, and previously unsung, her characters are cast from the wrong side of town, or the wrong side of history. And given voice by Joolz’s pen, each takes their 15 minutes of forever the only way they can - defiantly and by cutting loose.
The whirlwind of words that is Denby’s fifth collection builds legends within legends, retells myths and casts new ones where you least expect them. Characters like the thrill-seeking ‘Two Lanes’ dashing through motorway traffic, or Chicken Boy, hidden away in the unforgiving dark, are fleshed out alongside characters from Beowulf, naval explorers, and new renditions of the Holy Mother. Elsewhere we get classic anthems against cynicism like 'Boy, You Need the Road', entreating us to fight doubt and trust our own recklessness.
Pray for Us Sinners marks an eagerly awaited return to verse for the Orange Prize short-listed author and, as the title suggests, we see a new, more reflective tone here - unravelling new interests in her own personal history and the mythology and morphology of goddess stories - as well as celebrating what Joolz has always known best: the wilderness within.