I first met Tracey Scott-Townsend when I went to Oceans of Words, at which Tracey was speaking and you can see my write up here. I’ll be welcoming Tracey to Linda’s Book Bag on 6th October to stay in with me and tell me about one of her books, but today I’m delighted to share my review of So Fast, Tracey’s collection of poetry and I would like to thank her so much for sending me a copy in return for an honest review.
Motherhood, family, sense of place and reflections on the human condition are at the heart of this collection of poems, mainly written in 2017.
My Review of So Fast
A collection of intimate and personal poems about life and humanity.
Now here’s the thing. I am not a mother, I have never wanted to be and I don’t especially like children. The first two poems in So Fast are based around children and so you’d think I would be affected by them but by the time I’d got to the end of the second I was in tears. Tracey Scott Townsend has such a depth of emotion behind her poetry it really touched me. Reading on, I felt exactly the same about the rest of the collection and by the time I got to Perfect Memorial I was in utter pieces.
Indeed, reading So Fast I encountered a range of very profound emotions. You must have wanted to have them made me feel guilty and I was enraged by Ways not to treat Women. But oh my goodness, the sense of loss, of grief and love was almost too much to bear at times, especially in The Visit. I also loved the final, uplifting reassertion of identity in the last poem in the collection, Not Invisible.
The quality of Tracey Scott-Townsend’s writing is magnificent. Able to convey the emotions I have referred to, she can also create such vivid images of nature that the reader can picture the shore, a whale, a tern with absolute clarity. She invents compound words that capture perfectly what she is describing and knows exactly when a rhyme or repetition will enhance her message and when to pare down her words to the bare minimum for the greatest effect. Water plays a large part in her writing and her poems reflect its fluidity and ever changing appearance. I thought this was such skilled writing.
I found So Fast by Tracey Scott-Townsend an absolute gem of a collection. I fear it will be little known but it deserves to be praised amid the likes of writers like Maya Angelou, Dylan Thomas and Sylvia Plath. So Fast explores everything it means to be a woman, a mother, a lover and a friend. I loved every word.
About Tracey Scott-Townsend
Tracey Scott-Townsend is a novelist, poet and artist living in the East Riding of Yorkshire. She has exhibited widely across Britain and her previous books are published by Inspired Quill and Wild Pressed Books.