Lip was shortlisted for the 2008 Forward Prize for Best Collection.
Catherine Smith’s first acclaimed collection The Butcher’s Hands was a disturbing and exciting book. Lip moves on from its grotesqueries and grand guignol to a fierce, often frantic eroticism, seen, as in the earlier book, through the language of the human body; clothed, stripped, skinned, examined with forensic detail.
As in Heckmondwike, a litany of dangerous pleasure, in this book there are no safe words.
From its first poem, ‘Lip’ is a surprising journey – to somewhere at the same time familiar and disturbing. These restless poems dare to push against the half-shut doors of adolescence, parenthood and female sexual experience and explore their strangeness. In ‘Ewe’ and in the remarkable ‘Lapse’ sequence in particular, Catherine Smith gives erotic poetry a fresh voice and a whole new album of images. — Susan Wicks