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This is You, Dear Stranger | Paula Jennings

This is You, Dear Stranger | Paula Jennings

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    For more than twenty-five years, Fife-based Paula Jennings has been making poems and inspiring other people write theirs. She is a true listener, a person who hears the music in what others say, drawing out rich meaning from chance associations. Widely published in small magazines, and with two strikingly original pamphlets punctuating the years since her debut in 2002, she finally put together a second full collection. Charged with a sense of spontaneous wonder, this new book was worth waiting for. It is a generous gift to any reader. And yet it is personal, and particular to you, because ‘that’s you in the mirror, [...] / you, dear stranger, / tying on your bones, your strung muscles.’


    ‘“If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.” Emily Dickinson’s words describe perfectly how I felt reading Paula Jenning’s new collection, This is You, Dear Stranger. Lyrical, luminous, revelatory, but also at times marvellously down to earth, the poems combine elements of nature and myth and dream to bear witness to a poet’s journey through the world.’


    —Vicki Feaver


    ‘The word “vivid” doesn’t do justice to the poetry inside this extraordinary volume. Natural images permeate the collection, but as well as being gorgeous they are primal and urgent, fresh and original. The direct, personal address used in the collection title (and the title poem) makes you feel understood and cherished, both as a human being and as a particular “dear stranger”. This sense of being communicated with directly and viscerally is present from first page to last, and it makes reading a gripping, electrifying experience.’


    —Jane McKie

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