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Annie Fan

‘I hope, and I think any poet hopes, really, that this pamphlet is playful — with gender, language and inheritance, with things shared and things solitary.’

Annie Fan reads law at Oxford University where she was President of the Poetry Society. Her work has been broadcast by BBC Radio 3 and appears, or will appear, in Poetry London, PN Review and The London Magazine, among others. She is a Barbican Young Poet, a shadow trustee at MPT Magazine and has recently been accepted on the Ledbury Poetry Critics Programme.

WOUNDSONG

Annie Fan’s astonishing debut pamphlet interrogates the wound as a symbol of fertility, girlhood, queerness and immigrant identity: what does it mean to puncture, to cleave another person? Does a wounding have to be violent? In what ways can a wounding be tender? Can we speak to our wounds? Can they speak back? Do we inherit our wounds? Are there male wounds and female wounds? Is gender a wounding? How do we imagine our wounds in our dreams?

These poems feel fresh and inquisitive both formally and in terms of their contents. They herald a wonderful new voice in poetry.

SAMPLE POEM

Self Portrait with Rain
 
1.
These are the things I grew myself,
maddening green from soil, scraping
silt from the backs of wrists
like some sacred deposit. In summer,
I’ll pull away clementines the size
of a fist and spit out pips all over
the lawn, heaving with moss
like thick clumps of hair in the shower.
 
2.
I spend lifetimes washing,
find my hands over and over as I scrub
turnips, the early cherries, potatoes
damp with musk and leave them
on cool counters, open the windows
to each storm. I say: go away,
I do not want your dark water or
men in long coats; I can’t swallow
your measure or find enough
pillboxes to hold the pebbles.
 
3.
Today, I press my chin to the ledge
of the window and unearth
my arms and hands, stained from damson
picking. The rain doesn’t stop. But,
somewhere: dawn and the hum of hollowing
seeds planted in dry weather, like a sigh
or shout or song for when the sky
breaks open and gives out
something kinder than light.
‘Annie Fan’s poems have a rare knack for balancing between vulnerability and assurance as they navigate such diverse histories as Kepler’s discoveries, a faraway famine, or the last days of Empress Wu Zetian. Bravely troubled by questions of difference and desire, they trouble us too – as all the best poems do '
Theophilus Kwek

TOWER POETRY COMPETITION 2018

Annie won the Commended prize in the 2018 Tower Poetry competition with her excellent poem about sisterhood and mathematics,  ‘How to Invert a Hyperbolic Function’ which features in her debut pamphlet Woundsong.

More from Annie!

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Verve Poetry Press 2021 Releases

 

Verve is beyond proud to announce that we will be publishing 21 new pamphlets and collections in 2021 from accomplished and new voices. No matter your taste in poetry, you are bound to find a new favourite.

See our list of releases below:

 

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