Our Real Red Selves

Our Real Red Selves

7.95 8.95

by Harry Giles, Marion McCready and J.L. Williams
edited by Colin Waters

Pages: 120
ISBN: 978-1-908251-46-6
Dimensions: 198 x 130 x 9 mm
Publication: 29 May 2015
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In war and in birth we reveal “our real red selves”, and this volume brings together three poets whose work moves between life and death.

Harry Giles’ Drone explores modern warfare and office life. His “drone” is both a remote-control killing-machine and office drudge who is lonely and lacks job satisfaction. Somehow funny and achingly sad, the drone is the most unforgettable character you’ll read this year.

Marion McCready’s The Birth Garden reflects on the way childbirth has been viewed by the medical establishment over the past century. Disturbing scenes set on sinister wards and in a natural world both real and raw are captured in McCready’s vivid, urgent language.

J.L. Williams’ The History of Fire takes us back to war. Her poems are savage and hallucinatory. She writes not about a single war but a patchwork conflict, whose battlefield moves from ancient Greeks to the Gulf conflict to a nightmarish Vietnam-era ticker-tape parade.

The subjects depicted by these poets are contrasting, but their imagery and intensity echo each other.

Triptychs bring together three poets in one volume to showcase the freshest voices and newest developments in Scottish poetry.


"The opening set ‘Drone’ ... contains poems which pit the drone in a number of normal human situations, all of which are meant to highlight her unusual existence. Titles are comical, descriptive and meant to infer an awkward situation, such as ‘The Drone’s Mother Sends Her A TED Talk’ or ‘The Drone Signs the Organ Registry’. Giles’ poems are delicate, observant and satisfying as a sequence. ... 
     "Following ‘Drone’ is ‘The Birth Garden’, a visceral and often gritty selection of poems on birth by Marion McCready, author of Tree Language and winner of the Melita Hume Prize in 2013. Brimming with images of the body, blood and flowers, this sequence politicises and analyses the purpose and process of birth.  McCready explores the concept of birth in poems such as ‘Heartbeat’ and 'Birthing a waterfall', where she viscerally links images of babies, bellies and fluids, to hills, valleys and waterfalls ... [in an] offbeat and often metaphorical style. ... 
     "Rounding up the collection is Jennifer Williams’, sequence on war, which mixes symbols and arguments from both past and modern warfare. There is depth to these lush poems, which evoke moving scenes of individuals at war. ... Our Real Red Selves is a contemplative anthology where each of the three poets brings an extremely different, though complimentary perspective on intimate topics." Scottish Review of Books