The Shipwrecked House

Claire Trévien

"Serious, visually stunning poems of nationality, history and memory"

Luke Kennard
longlisted, the guardian first book award 2013

Anchors, shipwrecks, whales and islands abound in this first collection by young Anglo-Breton poet Claire Trévien.

Ultimately does it matter if the pearls are real or not?
The earth is a pearl, blinding and flawed,
nestled inside the mollusc of the milky way.

Anchors, shipwrecks, whales and islands abound in this first collection by Anglo-Breton poet Claire Trévien. These poems are sketches, lyrics, dreams, and experiments in language as sound.

Trévien’s is a surreal vision, steeped in myth and music, in which everything is alive and – like the sea itself – constantly shifting form. Fishermen become owls; one woman turns into a snake, another gives birth to a tree; a glow-worm might be a wasp or ‘a toy on standby’. Struck through with brilliant and sometimes sinister imagery reminiscent of Pan’s Labyrinth or an Angela Carter novel, The Shipwrecked House is a unique and hallucinatory debut from a poet-to-watch.



“Images play on each other with a sense of decay and time passing. Isn’t all homesickness not for a place but for a past?”
David Mills, The Sunday Times

“This maritime collection has arrived from Trévien as such: a fleet of poems that collide and depart from one another in unexpected ways.”
Eve Lacey, For Books Sake

“The detritus of what once was abounds in the myths and broken forms of The Shipwrecked House … hoisted into the sharp relief of post-millennial modernity.”
Edward Doegar, Poetry London

“Trévien’s is a beguilingly original voice and this is an assured first collection, startling and strangely beautiful.”
Gareth Prior

“Rich in imagery, musicality and wit – surreal maritime visions that sing of myth and magic.”
Tara Wheeler, Annexe Magazine

“These are poems that tell stories long into the night, paint pictures against the sky, and leave you with the taste of salt in the back of your throat.”

Praise for Claire Trévien

‘These are serious, visually stunning poems of nationality, history and memory, but they’re personal and generous in their wit. Reading them is like spending an hour in the company of someone you secretly admire.’
Luke Kennard

Our price £8.99
RRP £8.99
64 pages
ISBN 9781908058119
Published 1 March 2013
Cover design: Penned in the Margins / Henry Simmonds
Artwork by Charlotte Coatalen Lambert


About the author

Author photo by Richard Davenport

Claire Trévien was born in Brittany. Her pamphlet Low-Tide Lottery was published by Salt in 2011. She is the editor of Sabotage Reviews and the co-organiser of Penning Perfumes, a creative collaboration between poets and perfumers.

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