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A stunning collection about the rites and rituals of cooking by one of Britain’s best new poets.

Human Work was written while cooking. It is the narrative of a voice in domesticity, at the alchemical heart of home – the hearth, or Hestia – where the kitchen is a stage for acts of eating and uttering; for the ebb and flow to the human mouth. The poems were written ‘live’ among pots and pans, beside chopping boards, between plates, bowls, knives, forks, spoons, and servings. Their time is the hybrid time of writing and cooking – where the dimensions of two activities hinge together. The poems occupy a shared space; the work is one work. They live together and cross-talk, like figures in a room, invoking an old story, perhaps one of our very first: how we make food to eat and share, how we draw and transform others’ bodies into being our own flesh and life. Implicit in ingredients are the stories of matter itself: without food there can be no other stories.

Like the poems of Bee Journal these poems started life in notebooks, in situ. Their pages seem marked with the very process of their making: jam, grease, wine stains, crumbs of flour and spice, flecks of meat, fish, fruit, vegetable. Like Bee Journal, this is a book about communal purpose, a record of risk and response – a poetry of the moment, both immemorial and thrillingly modern.

Reviews

If you love cooking, and words…this book, given half a chance, will soon be engraved on your heart.

Rachel Cooke, Observer

This is a stunning collection of poems about the rites, rituals and adventures of cooking. Just like the best dishes, everything combines wonderfully to produce subtle tastes and thoughts which linger in the mind after the book has been closed. A delicious treat.

Bath Chronicle

Wonderful, original and sustaining poems.

Kate Kellaway, Observer

He is a marvellous poet, a man who knows his artichokes.

Kate Kellaway, Observer

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780224099844

    February 15, 2015

    Jonathan Cape

    80 pages

    RRP $24.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781448192533

    February 12, 2015

    Vintage Digital

    80 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Sean Borodale

Asylum
Bee Journal (The Birds and the Bees)
Bee Journal

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