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The Huntress

The Huntress

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Shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize

An outstanding new volume from this popular poet, follow-up to the best-selling The Zoo Father.

Pascale Petit's last collection, The Zoo Father, was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot and Forward Prizes, and was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She was also selected as one of the Poetry Society's Next Generation Poets.

In Pascale Petit's highly-charged third collection, a daughter is haunted by her mentally ill mother, and a painful childhood is re-imagined through a series of remarkable and passionate transformations. The feared mother is a rattlesnake, an Aztec goddess, a Tibetan singing bowl, a stalagmite, a praying mantis, a ghost orchid. These culminate in a long central poem where the daughter escapes her huntress as a cosmic stag.

Underlying these poems is an intense mystical vision that lifts the dark material of the subject matter above the merely personal. A powerful follow-up to the highly acclaimed The Zoo Father.

"No other British poet I am aware of can match the powerful mythic imagination of Pascale Petit. The mother figure in her new collection The Huntress appears as a ghost orchid, a rattlesnake, as geological forms and feathered Amerindian goddesses, all deeply imagined in perfect dreamlight focus. Baroque sinuosity seems a matter of fevered family relations, with a haunting mystical quality interfused."
Les Murray, Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year

"Pascale Petit's latest full length collection, The Huntress, exhibits the same intriguing blend of candour and estrangement that made The Zoo Father such a compelling read… Alongside Petit's talent in translating magical realism into verse, interestingly there's a sharpness to her work, a certain filmic quality that pulls the reader up short."

Pascale Petit was born in Paris, grew up in France and Wales and lives in London. In 2004 the Poetry Book Society and Arts Council named her as one of the Next Generation Poets. She has published four full-length poetry collections; her two previous collections, The Zoo Father (Seren, 2001) and The Huntress (Seren, 2005), were both shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and were both Books of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement. The Zoo Father was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and a poem from the book was also shortlisted for a Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. Her poems have been translated into many languages; a Spanish/English bilingual edition is published in Mexico. Pascale Petit trained as a sculptor at the Royal College of Art and tutors for Tate Modern, The Poetry School and Oxford University. She is currently the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Middlesex University.