Author: Emily Osborne (Trinity 2007)
Publisher: Gordon Hill Press
Safety Razor combines personal lyrics with translations from Old Norse skaldic verse, its taut poems running like high wires between the poles of terror and joy, danger and safety, erudition and naivety. Mingling subjects as diverse as dinosaur bones and diacritical markers, Vikings and mothering, Safety Razor pits cultural and historical flotsam against the intimate and the academic. Be prepared for a voice that is both vulnerable and scientific as it explores the exploitation of Jumbo the Elephant, how a baby experiences a tornado, or a Viking demonstration of poetic prowess through vomit and blood. This distinctive poetic debut showcases Osborne’s expertise gained during her PhD at Cambridge University in translating an abstruse poetic corpus, along with her award-winning, sonically-rich poems. Every line in Osborne’s sharp verse is like a “pin dipped in tobacco spit,” something inked with precision and grit.