“I hope that the readers of Glass feel welcome in its pages. One of my favourite things to do is cook a huge dinner for my friends, dump it in the middle of the table and watch them help themselves. In a way that is what a book is, an act of feeding. Consume as much as you want, digest at will, and I just hope at least some of it is to your taste.”
Glass is the debut poetry collection from Emily Cooper, a writer and poet from Ireland. In an interview Cooper has said that ‘glass’ is “the perfect medium to contain so many of my preoccupations within the book”. Glass is the camera lens she uses to capture memories in these poems, it is also the glasses of brandy and wine that feature in these poems and the windows from descriptions of old houses.
One of my favourite poems for the collection is ‘A fountain pen slices my leg through a bin bag as I move into my new house’. This poem raises the question of ownership. How, when you own an old house, it’s “more of a guardianship than possession” and this is marked by the dust, smells, and belongings of those who lived there before you. In these poems the spaces the speaker inhabits are detached and have lives of their own. They are permanent and assured, while in stark contrast to us humans who desperately scramble to establish a definition of home.
Other poems I loved were ‘Garlicking’, ‘Glass’, and ‘Love Is All Consuming’ which all felt quite Irish to me, in terms of the humour used and the descriptions of food and drink. Overall, this was a very strong collection and I very much look forward to reading more from Cooper in the future.
Thank you to Jordan and Makina Books for my copy :)