Sparkle and Dance
By Josephine Scott


"A vivacious and very likeable first collection. A poet with the ability to stitch place to mood and mood to place.

"This is where I cry, this is where I sneak / to in the middle of the night to watch // The silhouette of roses tapping thorns´┐Ż (The Dark Room)"

- Peter Bennet, Other Poetry


"Like a Tyneside Sharon Olds, Josephine Scott writes of relationships, romance and religion. She paints in delicate yet searingly honest detail our need for places of safety and warmth, the brave glamour of dance halls and incense. Joy is snatched from darkness which always threatens: intimate violence and loss, to be as bravely endured and transcended. Scott lays it out simply, with no excuses or judgements, except in her sure handling of the language of her native north east, rich, frank and true, in a sometimes shocking portrayal of toxic love, a sometimes heartening affirmation of love's survival. A fine first collection from an emerging, deceptively self effacing talent."

- Valerie Laws


"Many of these poems have a haunting, lyrical quality. There are poems that attempt to capture evanescent moments, rich in sensuousness - a small child watching her mother dressing for a night out, a woman in labour finding relief in the rhythm of horses trotting outside in the street, the slither of a predatory fairground employee. They are strong also in their evocation of place. North Tyneside's coast is the grounding for these poems with their references to sand, sea, dunes, light, fairgrounds and circuses. Those poems that situate themselves there, in the childhood of the poet, are particularly vivid. The Gran by the range checks to see if the children have been to mass when they've been on the prom eating ice cream. So there is humour as well as pathos. The emotional range of the poems is diverse but the poet is reticent so that much is inferred through light brush strokes - hints at distress and violence. There are masks and personas and finely detailed observation of a cast of characters who inhabited the suburban seaside area and moving laments for their passing."

- Pauline Plummer


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