Writer and academic Elizabeth-Jane Burnett follows up her acclaimed first collection, Swims, with a remarkable new book in praise of marine fauna.
Of Sea takes the form of a poetic bestiary of creatures living beneath, beside and above the water: in wetlands, salt marshes and the intertidal zone. In a sequence of 46 poems, Burnett captures the world of cockles and clams, rare moths and the humble earwig (to name a few) with a precise and dynamic lyric that seems always on the verge of music.
Burnett was also announced today as one of ten inspiring UK writers selected by poet Owen Sheers for the International Literature Showcase programme (a collaboration between National Centre for Writing and British Council). The ten writers were selected by poet Owen Sheers and includes another Penned in the Margins author, Raymond Antrobus.
Editor Tom Chivers said: “I’m a huge admirer of the grace and music of Elizabeth-Jane’s poetry and I’m thrilled to welcome her back to Penned in the Margins. Of Sea is a beautiful, unusual collection which reminds us to look, and think, closely and with compassion at the world around us.”
Elizabeth-Jane Burnett is a writer of English and Kenyan heritage. She was born in Devon and her work is inspired by the landscape in which she was raised. She is the author of Swims, a Sunday Times Poetry Book of the Year, and her poetry has been highly commended in the Forward Prize. Her ‘geological memoir’, The Grassling was published by Allen Lane in 2019.
Of Sea will be published in May 2021.