Sometimes it can seem like the need for poetry is shrinking. The poetry section at The Crunch's most local bookshop, for example, recently got downgraded from a full case to a shelf. A sad sight to see, though no doubt a common one. But, if booksellers across the land were to take a step further and deem that poetry is no longer worthy of its own literary zone, would the majority of collections be re-filed in fiction, or non-fiction?
Poetry's relationship with the truth is a subject we touch upon in our latest podcast. Rebecca Parfitt's debut The Days After (due next year) is a collection of poems with a desire to stay true to what really happened, though they never lose sight of the reader's need for transparency. After all, veiled references and in-jokes have no place in good poetry. As Rebecca asserts, a finished poem – or, perhaps more correctly, an 'abandoned' one (thanks, Paul Valéry) – no longer belongs to the poet. Once a poem has been committed to some form of publication, it belongs only to those who bring themselves to it.
As you’ll see from her videos, Rebecca’s poetry draws part of its power from being unashamedly personal. These poems are windows to a world removed, yet one that is still clearly present. They are incredibly visceral and honest – you will find no blackout curtains here. And, like all windows, there is always the potential to catch in them a faint reflection of ourselves.
Rebecca is one of those poets who affirms the need for poetry – and proves, if evidence was needed, that it still stands firmly as a literary genre in its own right. We’re very pleased to be able to feature her in our final issue of 2016.
Issue #5, December 2016
REBECCA PARFITT is originally from Brighton but now lives and works in Cardiff. She has been working in publishing for almost a decade, beginning her career in London before moving to Wales. She is founder and editor of The Ghastling – a literary magazine devoted to ghost stories, the macabre and the oh-so-strange.
Rebecca's poetry has appeared in Boston Poetry, Cheval and Poetry Wales, amongst others. She was a recent recipient of a 'Writer at Work' residency from Hay Festival and Arts Council Wales. Her debut collection, The Days After, will be published by Listen Softly London in April 2017.
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