Girl, Rebecca Goss (Carcanet/Northern House) forthcoming April 2019.  


Girl picks up where Goss’s acclaimed second collection, Her Birth—a work of ‘immense grace’ (Poetry London)—left off, and opens onto new territory. It is an authentic study of girlhood, and it deals candidly with the physical and mental quakes that follow illness and trauma. From a woman struck by lightning to a baby who understands shadows, Goss navigates the real and the imagined with equal air. At the heart of the collection is a distinctive, sensual series of poems responding to the work of the artist Alison Watt: the result is a fearless exploration of the female body and female desire.

‘This is a book about human bodies: freckles, fists, itches and that ‘private reek’. Graphic, funny and tender, these poems jostle with bodies that swim, jog, fuck, medicate, spin on dodgems, grow up and grow ill. Rebecca Goss captures both the pleasure and the pain. Girl is a quivering, kicking reminder of what it is to be alive.’ – Clare Pollard

‘From the first poem about a mother struck by lightning, closely followed by the delicate, intimate and equally astonishing title poem, ‘Girl’  – the first of a series inspired by Alison Watt’s paintings that are threaded throughout this collection – I was totally gripped. Rebecca Goss’s voice is quietly passionate. Her forms are exquisitely crafted. Her themes, of human fragility and of our bodies’ capacity for pleasure and pain, are universal.’ – Vicki Feaver

‘These are poems of brave surrender to the accident of living, the constant somersault, and regardless of whether the change is huge or tiny – a thunderbolt or an unexpected freckle – it is always fundamental, always shattering, always a thrill.’ – Caroline Bird

See Carcanet’s 2018-2019 catalogue for more information:

Carousel, Rebecca Goss, Chris Routledge, Guillemot Press, 2018

thumbnail_Carousel Cover 16.1.18Web

For the past nine years poet I have been working on a collaboration combining photography and poetry with writer and photographer Chris Routledge. It began life as the “Jupiter Project”, an online collection of images and poems, named after the Soviet-made Jupiter-8 lens with which the early photographs were taken. But it has since developed into a wider project exploring the relationship between viewer and viewed, and the intrusion of one art form on another; the visual image being “read” for narrative, and the poem becoming a visual artefact in its own right. Carousel, published by Guillemot Press in November 2018, is the culmination of this collaboration.

Her Birth, Rebecca Goss (Carcanet/Northern House), 2013:

Goss, Her Birth Mock


‘The poems in Her Birth unfold their story of love, loss and grief for a baby daughter with pared-down precision and scorching intensity.  The language, like sea-glass, has been ground by a tide that might have crushed words completely.  Instead, it has shaped these translucent poems’ – Helen Dunmore.

‘A testimonial of love and of grief, Her Birth plots an arc of bitter elegance. Rebecca Goss’s daughter was born with the ‘wicked gift’ of a disabling heart condition – Ebstein’s anomaly – and her poems show tremendous clarity, variety, honesty, and beauty. Few of us ever glimpse the details of living with such a diagnosis, but Goss reveals the power of poetry not to console, but to illuminate.’ – Gavin Francis, Judge, Warwick Prize for Writing 2015

For more information see the Carcanet website here

The Anatomy of Structures by Rebecca Goss, Flambard Press, 2010:

The Anatomy of Structures

Highly Commended in The Forward Prize, 2010.

“A very clear voice, catching at the emotional drama of the world, its strangeness, sexiness and occasionally its yearning.” – Robert Seatter

“Fresh, fearless and utterly engaging” – Tribune

“Startlingly good” – R.V. Bailey

The Anatomy of Structures, reviewed by Zoe Brigley.  Brigley looks at a series of Younger British Poets who all appeared originally in Agenda’s online Broadsheets or as chosen young Broadsheet poets in the journal.  I was a much younger poet, back in Broadsheet  number 7 and it means a lot to be reviewed alongside the likes of Helen Mort and Kathryn Gray.  You can read the full review here.

Note:  Due to the sad demise of Flambard Press, copies of The Anatomy of Structures are now available from Inpress Books or held with me.  Please email me at if you would like to purchase a copy.


6 thoughts on “Books

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