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About the book
  • Published: 15 May 2015
  • ISBN: 9780701188696
  • Imprint: Chatto & Windus
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 80
  • RRP: $19.99

Loop of Jade


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Introducing an unmistakable new voice in British poetry, the first collection by Sarah Howe.

*WINNER OF THE T. S. ELIOT PRIZE 2015*
*WINNER OF THE SUNDAY TIMES / PETERS FRASER + DUNLOP YOUNG WRITER OF THE YEAR AWARD 2015*
*SHORTLISTED FOR THE FORWARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST COLLECTION 2015*

There is a Chinese proverb that says: ‘It is more profitable to raise geese than daughters.’ But geese, like daughters, know the obligation to return home. In her exquisite first collection, Sarah Howe explores a dual heritage, journeying back to Hong Kong in search of her roots.

With extraordinary range and power, the poems build into a meditation on hybridity, intermarriage and love – what meaning we find in the world, in art, and in each other. Crossing the bounds of time, race and language, this is an enthralling exploration of self and place, of migration and inheritance, and introduces an unmistakable new voice in British poetry.



  • Pub date: 15 May 2015
  • ISBN: 9780701188696
  • Imprint: Chatto & Windus
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 80
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Sarah Howe

Sarah Howe was born in Hong Kong in 1983 to an English father and Chinese mother, and moved to England as a child. Her pamphlet, A Certain Chinese Encyclopedia, was published in 2009, and she received an Eric Gregory Award in 2010. She lives in Cambridge and London.


Praise for Loop of Jade

“One of the very best books of poems I have read for a long time -- complicated and moving and very accomplished.”

A S Byatt, New Statesman, Books of the Year 2015

“Thoughtful, agile, erudite... [Howe] has a knack for sound and rhyme so delicious you want to say the lines aloud just to feel your tongue around them. And sprinkled throughout are minute observations that make the everyday seem magic. After reading Loop of Jade, the world seems larger and more nuanced than ever before, one of the most wonderful experiences I’ve had reading a contemporary poetry collection. Howe more than holds her own among the heavyweights in a memorable year for new poetry, a year in which poets took our accepted ideas of race, heritage and tradition and blew them wide open.”

Charlotte Runcie, Daily Telegraph

“Absolutely amazing... Sarah Howe's Loop of Jade shone with its startling exploration of gender and injustice through place and identity, its erudition, and powerful imagery as well as her daring experiment with form. She brings new possibilities to British poetry.”

Pascale Petit, chair of the T.S. Eliot Prize judges

“Mature and accomplished... Loop of Jade is one of the best first collections I've read in recent years”

Poetry Review

“Rich and fierce, Sarah Howe’s poems are alive to the complex stories and voices that cohere around objects, family and place. This is a magnificent collection, surprising and moving in equal measure – I loved it.”

Edmund de Waal

“A wonderful first collection – it isn’t often you can say exquisite, original, erudite and adventurous all in one breath. Sarah Howe goes to the very heart of her own, her mother’s and China’s recent past.”

Ruth Padel

“Sarah Howe's soulful poems are as vivid as a river flowing through the Chinese landscape, as alive as mothers calling to their children.”

Xinran, author of The Good Women of China

“A glittering debut exploring dual British and Chinese heritage with beauty and wit”

Charlotte Runcie, Daily Telegraph, Editor's Choice

“The poems in Loop of Jade…move me in profound and previously unimaginable ways”

Emma Lee Moss, Guardian

“[A] sinuous, shimmering, mirage-like debut collection”

Roger Cox, Scotsman

“Remarkable.”

John Walsh, Independent

“The poems literally glisten… The evocative and unique poems are a joy.”

Michael Conaghan, Belfast Telegraph

“[Howe] shows that new voices can still carry their own unique freight of subtle music married to acute intelligence..”

William Boyd, Guardian

“[An] exquisite first collection… With extraordinary range and power, the poems build into a meditation on hybridity, intermarriage and love… An unmistakable new voice in British poetry.”

Asian Art Newspaper, Book of the Year

“[An] exquisite first collection… With extraordinary range and power, the poems build into a meditation on hybridity, intermarriage and love… An unmistakable new voice in British poetry.”

Asian Art Newspaper, Book of the Year


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