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Beautiful Girls

Melissa Lee-Houghton

£8.99

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A Poetry Book Society Recommendation

“Beautiful Girls is not a book for the faint-hearted. The reader has been invited to a sleepover at the asylum, a night in which five-year old girls drift alone through the wards, where the mentally unstable do sit-ups when nobody is watching and where heaven is a place between “the sky and the planets” reserved for those with personality disorders. This collection will be a home-to-home for sufferers and a journey through terrible night for those who’ve been fortunate enough to take the non-scenic route in life. Melissa Lee-Houghton significantly moves us on from any romanticising notion of the ‘mad’ poet driven through suffering to achieve their full genius. Mental suffering is here shown in all its nocturnal and diurnal detail: the nurses, the drugs, the lack of sleep; the disconnect from the yearned-for true self. Beautiful Girls will survive as a testament to poetry’s force in overcoming.” – Chris McCabe

      xddd

Reviews

“a testament to poetry’s force in overcoming”
Chris McCabe

“In this hypnotic and arresting collection Melissa Lee-Houghton holds a mirror to our mouths and teaches us how to breathe so that hurts like hell. Beautiful Girls is challenging writing and as refreshing as rain.”
Abegail Morley

“These unflinching poems feel as if they wrote themselves and have the compelling quality of a great novel. At times the language becomes rhapsodic, though there is always a lyrical grace and adroitness, and an intense but careful control.”
Pascale Petit

“Melissa Lee-Houghton is a bold, observant and daringly honest poet who intuitively knows what she is doing, even when she ventures into the scariest places. Her Beautiful Girls come vividly to life, tender, vulnerable, sexy and full of longing, and because she stands in their midst, blessed and cursed with what her mother calls ‘a vivid imagination’, there are times when reading her work feels, not only like a privilege, but also a secret vice”
Poetry Book Society

“There’s freeness and authenticity in Lee-Houghton’s restricted palette of line breaks and arresting phrases. Her poems are letters from the front line.”
John Field, Poor Rude Lines

“The poems have a painful physicality, vulnerability and a movement towards healing that is always one step further on. There are some extraordinary poems, such as ‘Codeine’, ‘Belly’ and ‘Dimensions’, which define the comfort of body pain and hurt through absence and fear. ‘Erasure’, Lee-Houghton writes, ‘is never complete’ in a chilling riposte to healing. These are exceptional poems.”
David Caddy, Tears in the Fence

“riven with sadness and achingly beautiful”
Sarah James

Beautiful Girls

Cover design by Alexandra Gallagher


ISBN 978-1908058034
Published 5 November 2013
Pages 80
RRP £8.99


Filed under *Offers*, Books, Melissa Lee-Houghton, Poetry collections

"a testament to poetry's force in overcoming"

Chris McCabe


Melissa Lee-Houghton

Melissa Lee-Houghton was born in Wythenshawe, Manchester in 1982. Her poetry, short fiction and reviews have been published in literary magazines such as Succour, The Short Review, Magma and Tears in the Fence. Her first collection, A Body Made of You, was published in 2011. She lives in Blackburn, Lancashire.