Miming Happiness


‘Vivid and sensual’ — Vicki Feaver

‘Miming Happiness’s final section is collected into almost magical intensity. McVety’s long lines describe her sister’s mysterious illness, with lovely glances of sound, and the energy of verbs: ‘on she swims, a shiver/ a shine, surfacing for air; slip-streaming the light’. Closing rhythms pulse with a town’s life: ‘the factories [..] breathe out, breathe in, go on’. McVety, the poet of solid things, reveals the wish ‘to crumble away’ into the ‘infinitely small’. Her final poem is a vision of inwardness: ‘the atom/ cracking with the thunder of a goldcrest’s heart’. It is an astounding line. The best of Allison McVety’s collection reveals the uncontainable power of poetry.’ — Alison Brackenbury, PN Review

What Writers and Critics Think

  • Allison McVety’s follow up to 2007’s The Night Trotsky Came to Stay is a paean to the everyday, managing at once to capture the banality and magic of school days (‘Extra Curricula’), moving house (‘Two Mugs’), working life (‘Head Count’) and family (‘Offspring’). What is most striking about this collection is the efficiency of the language used – Occam’s razor has been applied effectively here, and the wonderfully stark images conjured up by such terse lines as 'we freeze, together and separated, verticals;' (from 'Family Trees') tell of a poet at the height of her powers.

    Poetry Book Society
  • Allison McVety seizes the reader’s attention. Partly it’s a narrative talent, but her particular skill is in converting the feel of the day-to-day – whether ordinary, intriguing or alarming – into genuine poetry.

    Alan Brownjohn
  • Here is a poet who excels at making longgone everyday objects like ration books at once endearing and remarkable. An exhilarating follow-up to her outstanding collection, The Night Trotsky Came to Stay. So clear is her voice that we can hear 'a pin drop from a milliner’s grip some ninety years/away'

    Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch


Allison McVety’s collection, The Night Trotsky Came to Stay (Smith|Doorstop), was shortlisted for the Forward Best First Collection Prize 2008, and won enthusiastic reviews. Her poems have appeared in such publications as the Times and PN Review and have been broadcast on Radio 3. Allison was shortlisted for the inaugural MMU Poetry Prize in 2008.

Additional information

Dimensions 21.7 × 14.1 × 0.6 cm

Book, eBook (ePub)





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