WINNER OF THE CRASHAW PRIZE 2008 Abi Curtis makes the familiar extraordinary, and the supernatural everyday. In poems about animals and clouds, scientists and circus performers, about love and bean-pods, about bruises and myths and the moments ...
before death, her deft use and playful subversions of form give her verse an exquisite poise between gravity and lightness. "Unexpected Weather" has surprises on every page: sensuous surfaces upturned with a single word, moments frozen and held up for inspection, riddles, mishearings and tricks of the light. The collection is divided into two parts, each of them named for just such a trick: a mirage and a phosphorescence, the one an illusion, seemingly real, the other quite natural, but spectral and eerie. Both create atmospheric effects no less beautiful for their irreality. They are perfect figures for Curtis's poetry, for her way of conjuring characters, worlds, mythologies and histories out of wisps of experience; but most of all for her delight in metaphor, the medium of condensation and transformation, in which she makes the world limpid, and new.