Skipper introduces an intriguing and readable new voice. Christy Ducker plays between light and dark, music and texture to take us into the swim of life. Warm, but never sentimental, the poems teem with people and everyday wonders: St Cuthbert appears at a laser clinic; breasts talk; a horse dentist perseveres; and Grace Darling learns to count. Ducker extends her vision from the deeply personal to the historical, engaging us in questions of self and place. This is a bold first collection, from a poet of energy and verve.

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Christy Ducker is the author of four poetry books and pamphlets: Messenger (Smith Doorstop, 2017), Heroes (Smith Doorstop, 2016), Skipper (Smith Doorstop, 2015) and Armour (Smith Doorstop, 2011). Her work has won a Northern Writers’ award, a Forward prize commendation, and a selection as PBS pamphlet choice. Favourable reviews and articles about her writing have featured in the TLS, The Guardian and The Marginalian, among others. Her commissions include residencies for Port of Tyne, English Heritage and The British Lung Foundation. She currently works as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Newcastle University.