Today's poem is "What I Remember"
from Not in This World

Bloodaxe Books

Tracey Herd was born in Scotland in 1968 and lives in Dundee. She studied at Dundee University, where she was Creative Writing Fellow in 1998-2001. In 1993 she won an Eric Gregory Award, and in 1995 a Scottish Arts Council Bursary. In 1997 she took part in Bloodaxe’s New Blood tour of Britain, and in 1998 was the youngest poet in the British-Russian Poetry Festival organised by the British Council with Bloodaxe when she gave readings in Moscow and Ekaterinburg and her poems appeared on metro trains in Russian cities. In 2000 she read her poems over the public address system in the winners enclosure at Musselburgh racecourse. In 2002 she collaborated on a short opera, Descent, with the composer Gordon McPherson for Paragon Ensemble which was performed at the Traverse Theatre in Glasgow. In 2004 she received a Creative Scotland Bursary. She was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Dundee University in 2009-11. She is now working as a Royal Literary Fund Lector and participating in their Bridge Project. She has published three collections with Bloodaxe: No Hiding Place (1996), which was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection; Dead Redhead (2001), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation; and Not in This World (2015), a Poetry Book Society Choice shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize.

Books by Tracey Herd:

Other poems on the web by Tracey Herd:
"Calling Card"
Four poems
"Anne Sexton’s Last Letter to God"

About Not in This World:

"This is a writer who takes herself, and us, into difficult territory, not out of any patronising desire to 'shock' but out of her own inner necessity. Dead Redhead is a hall of fame, where the famous are dead, iconic women: Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Onassis, the murdered daughters of the Tzar. Into these women, who have something of the traditional ballad heroine about them, Herd sinks her own sensibility to animate this world of vulnerable beauty, and victimhood. The poems are energetic discussions of the effect of power and betrayal, and Herd explores the reasons these screen goddesses, girl detectives, princesses seem to matter, how they are at once remote and very near at hand, their lives provide ways for us to discuss our own."
—Kathleen Jamie

"She is already in possession of a distinctive vocal tone and it displays a formidable command of technique and the workings of a powerful imagination - Although the subject-matter of many, indeed of most, of the poems is pretty bleak, the poems themselves are anything but depressing, satisfying eye and ear with their coruscating surfaces and varied music, and the mind with their sharpness of perception and wit."
—Vernon Scannell

"Tracey Herd is a one-off. Though influenced by the emergence of a vibrant and independent new Scottish poetry, she reaches out across cultures and national poetics, projecting a noirish psycho-linguistic drama onto the screen of predictability. She is risky and challenging, and her poems carry a sting in the tail. The twists and turns of her voice, sublimated by others', test the fragility of her readers' perceptions. Persona falls victim to the power of language, the total control of line and rhythm. She is terrifyingly brilliant"
—John Kinsella

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