Arc Publications logo

50 years at the cutting edge of poetry publishing

“A meeting point for poets of all latitudes”
— VĂ­ctor Rodríguez Núñez

Review: Circus-Apprentice, by Katherine Gallagher

Frank Dullaghan, Seam 27, Autumn 2007

Gallagher has been writing poetry for a long time and has learned her craft well. There is maturity and control in the writing and she can find an apt image. On being a long term immigrant (an Australian living in the UK) she writes

I have swallowed a country
it sits quietly inside me

Gallagher does have strong descriptive powers:

Stage-struck, you leave me bracing -
bunched harbingers,
carrying summer on your stalks.

from Winter Hyacinths

But for me, the real strength comes from the tenderness and authenticity of her more personal poems:

I'd seen his cool toe-balancing,
the grace of it, guiding my mother
into circles of Lehar and Strauss.

In the end, a worthy collection and well produced.