Penelope Shuttle's latest collection, Redgrove's Wife, is a book of lament and celebration. Its focus is the life and death of her husband, the poet Peter Redgrove, coupled with the loss of her father. Here grief, depression and ageing are confronted with painful directness, but transformed into life-affirming and redemptive poetry.
Other poems written over the same five-year period are inspired by a wide variety of subjects, from Cornish history and landscape to time, weather, spiders and postal regulations. Some draw on myth and dream to reinvent reality, while others take surprising liberties with language itself. Redgrove's Wife offers an extraordinary range of different kinds of poetry: both sensous and ceremonial, elegiac and erotic, visionary and playful.
"A wonderful book of poetry of love and loss by Penelope Shuttle about her late husband, poet Peter Redgrove. It spoke to me very strongly, having lost my own husband not so long ago. When it comes to the big things in life - falling in love, losing someone special - you can't beat poetry. You want to write it, you want to read it."
Maureen Lipman, Daily Express
"Her poems of mourning... are among the best she has written."
Elaine Feinstein, The Times
"Her language is worked into something as fluid, slippery and refreshing as a spring. She writes with a buoyant, graceful confidence and she is a unique voice in contemporary British poetry."
Poetry Book Society Bulletin