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The Zoo Father

Authors: Pascale Petit

Published by Seren

ISBN: 9781854113054

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Shortlisted for the 2001 T.S. Eliot Prize, this unique collection centres on a daughter's fraught relationship with her dying father, a man whose legacy to her was violence and abandonment.

Rich in the imagery of the Amazonian jungle (fire ants, shaman masks, hummingbirds, shrunken heads, jaguars) these poems at once ward off and redeem the father through myriad transformations. In contrast, 'The Vineyard' series is inspired by the author's mother and by "... the last piece of wild land, / left to me by accident, by dream" - a family vineyard in France. These intense, vibrant and fiercely felt poems are sure to evoke strong responses in readers.

Refusing oblique irony, quotidian props or any pretensions to urban hipness, Pascale Petit takes considerable risks. With fierce courage, she not only survives the brutal facts of her past, but transmutes them, through vivid imagination, into art. The Zoo Father is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and a poem from the book was also shortlisted for a Forward Prize for Best Single Poem.

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 latest is The Treekeepers Tale. The Zoo Father (2001) and The Huntress (2005) were both shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and were both Books of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement. the book was also shortlisted for a Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. 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.
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