Copyright © 2019 by Naomi Foyle
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Naomi Foyle is a British-Canadian writer, editor, educator, and activist. Her three poetry collections are The Night Pavilion, an Autumn 2008 Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and The World Cup (2010), both from Waterloo Press; and Adamantine (2019), published in the US and UK by Red Hen/Pighog Press. Also the author of two verse dramas and five science fiction novels she is currently adapting her eco-SF quartet The Gaia Chronicles for puppet theatre, and compiling a collection of essays. In 2017 she edited the bilingual anthology A Blade of Grass: New Palestinian Poetry (Smokestack Books). For her poetry and essays about Ukraine Naomi was awarded the 2014 Hryhorii Skovoroda prize. She lives in Brighton, UK, and teaches creative writing at the University of Chichester.
"Adamantine, an especially appropriate title, for Naomi Foyle’s collection of unsparing compassions, prepares us for the spirit here, one 'incapable of being broken, dissolved, or penetrated' the epigram that prefaces the book tells us. These are poems of a committed intellect, political, well-traveled, resilient. We move through multiple cities, towns, continents — Saskatchewan, Canada, Grenfell Tower, England, Belfast, Palestine, Africa — as idioms and varying registers speak their kinship with departed loved ones, Biblical and pagan deities, the story of 'the murdered Aboriginal woman,' the Canadian painter Emily Carr, the young Palestinian activist, Ahed, to name some of the lives that inhabit Foyle’s brilliantly wrought verse. Fierce empathies put a lens on the seemingly inexhaustible ways we have proven our 'failure to care for each other,' yet the collection sings the myriad ways our stricken bodies, economies, and corruptions also, still, bind us."
—Adrianne Kalfopoulou, author of A History of Too Much
"In this vibrant and wide-ranging collection, Naomi Foyle explores the turmoil of the world and the turmoil of the body. Narrative and lyric poems range from the tragedies and injustices of Grenfell Tower, Palestine and First Nation stories, to experiences of cancer and remission. The poems employ a skillful variety of forms from totem shapes to villanelles, while eavesdropping on and inhabiting the voices and obsessions of the twenty-first century. Always aware of the paradoxes of global politics and the self, Foyle celebrates our will to survive in the face of poverty, war, prejudice and illness. Sometimes reflective, formal and intimate, sometimes as quick-paced and street-wise as a beat poet, Foyle writes with passion, grace and wit. The cumulative effect is of protest but even more of gratitude and compassion, a valuing of what makes us human."
—Stephanie Norgate, author of Hidden River and The Blue Den
"This collection sees our life as it is now, a fragile veil hanging in front of what was lost. Foyle's Adamantine is a lithographic stone, fixing patterns of brutality, innocence, and pain onto the veil. But there is hope here too, as it shows us the joy of what we can become, if only we have the courage to tear through that thin shroud."
—Fawzia Muradali Kane