How To Carry Fire, written by poet and lecturer Christina Thatcher, is hot off Parthian Books press.
I don’t read a huge amount of poetry – though this year’s reading goal is to alternate between anthologies and novels as much as I can. But when I do, it’s often the case that I read an individual poem, rather than an anthology. As a result, I didn’t realise quite how powerful a series of individual pieces thoughtfully strung together to tell a story with themes, recurring people and ideas, and emotions could be.
Though in part devastating in content, HTCF retains a lasting sense of hope, if not positivity. While life has thrown extraordinary pain at Christina, her poems reflect strength and vitality in the face of it – of how to carry that fire.
Though perhaps tempting in art to dwell on misery, it seems a rare skill to be able to write about it while allowing the reader to feel a sense of heeling. These are, at their heart, love poems and this collection is fiery testimony to both love and life’s ability to grow out of ashes.