Iona Lee’s debut collection charts the journey of the writer, artist and performer into adulthood. Written in a unique voice, Iona playfully toys with thematic devices in this entertaining exploration of art and artifice, absence and impermanence, truth and tale telling.
Iona Lee’s debut collection charts the journey of the writer, artist and performer into adulthood. Written in a unique voice, Iona playfully toys with thematic devices in this entertaining exploration of art and artifice, absence and impermanence, truth and tale telling. Characterised by a deep love of language, its music and its magic, these poems reflect on memory, the future and other hauntings. Wittily observed, this collection is an attempt to connect the stars into tidy constellations, and to join the tiny, inchoate dots of self into something traceable and translatable.
Humorous and self-aware, gentle and philosophical, Anamnesis is written in the knowledge that in telling one’s life-story, one creates it.
'Dazzling. Witty. Playful. Wild. Ingenious. It’s easy to run out of adjectives when you’re describing Iona Lee’s astonishing first collection. ‘Is all fire the same fire?’ she asks. Definitely not. These are poems of such energy and brilliance they will continue to burn in the memory long after the book is closed.'-- John Glenday, poet
'Artist and writer Iona Lee has long been considered one of the finest spoken word and live poetry performers around'* Snack Magazine,10 Best Scottish Books for 2023 *
'A door, a window, a rupture? The familiar openings and outpourings of Anamnesis are made strange and sacrosanct by Iona Lee, a skilful poet with a mastery of language. This startling debut is equal part stained glass as it is blood-stained'-- Dean Atta
'Iona's collection is a marvel. Full of beauty, wit, wisdom and surprise, delivered with the assurance of a poet who knows exactly what they are doing, it is to be treasured'-- Hannah Lavery, Edinburgh Makar
'I was intrigued and delighted by the originality and wit, the here-and-now "peculiar Eden" of the world she creates. Youthful, sexy, sharp, ferally female, funny'-- Liz Lochhead
'Iona's poems hatch plucky, ponderous and pulsing; or do I mean louche, lithe and lasering? They're all of that, maybe more'-- Michael Pedersen
'Iona Lee is an exceptional poet; her work is articulate and perceptive and brimming with tenderness and authenticity. Anamnesis is compelling and beautiful, it is an exquisite poetry collection'-- Salena Godden
'The standout voice of her generation, Lee performs open-heart surgery on the English language'-- Darren McGarvey
'the gorgeous, long-awaited debut collection from beloved poet and performer Lee... these poems are reflections and teachings, imbued with gentle humour and musicality'* The Bookseller *
'She writes elegiacally, hopefully... [the collection's title "Anamnesis"] is, like her poetry, clear and complex: remembering, an epiphany and not forgetting, as if the three were the same thing'-- Stuart Kelly * The Scotsm