Anne Marie Todkill's debut recalibrates the anxiety of the present. It gives doubt a hearing, finding resilience in fragility and grace in unexpected places.
The poems assembled in Orion Sweeping take nothing at face value. What are we to make of a radioactive souvenir, a shape-shifting dog, landscapes made strange by time? The speakers gathered here seek to set the record straight: a mink gives advice; a wolf disputes a rumour; a photographer zooms in on a kill; a military strategist gives lessons in peace. But the sum of the evidence is not bleak. A baby arrives as robustly as a whale; the solidarity of marriage is enacted in surprising ways; father and daughter share a gift for reprieve. Under the penetrating gaze of these poems, beauty and tenderness come quietly into view.