Tag Archives: reviews

Reviews

griffin close up

Writing

[on Lune]: “It quietly pushes the reader to imagine the sea under the cover of night, which in turn brings the lines about the sun or light forward into a startling glow. It’s interesting to mention that the darkness of the poem doesn’t come from the night sky, but emerges into it from a jet black sea. This is one of the overarching motifs that help to drive home the ideas of the work. The narrator of the poem looks out to the sea for answers, but the sea exists as an unknown, and repeatedly what the sea casts back is a command to look inside oneself. This dichotomy between the mysterious expanse of the sea and the tiny intimacy of the self is something that Hymas has managed to capture perfectly without being saccharine. If anything, the closeness that she conjures is one of melancholy.” Nick Murray Annexe Magazine

[on Lune]: “Lune is a rich addition to this contemporary pastoral tradition: part narrative, part evocation of land- and sea-scape, part metaphysical meditation on what the world is and what it is to be in that world. The title in the first instance derives from the river, but the other definitions of lune that I referred to in the opening paragraph of this review all seemed to me to come to bear on the poem as I read it. The sea is a leash, limiting the walker’s range of movement, the pull of the moon is what creates that intertidal space, the bay’s crescent is formed by sea and land intersecting, and these are all things the poem brings to our mental vision.The poem is driven by a need to see, in every sense of the word. And it recognises, or Hymas recognises, the difficulty of this project.” Billy Mills, Sabotage

[on Bedrock] “The poetry is earthy and takes a no-nonsense approach to setting out their journey from community-based god-fearing and pious, through to the complexity, toughness and verging on faithlessness, of modernity. These vignettes suggest a narrative that could make a substantial novel or play” Anne Stewart in Artemis

[on Host]
” I recommend the collection, especially for readers looking for a fresh slant on the domestic lyric, or just a very enjoyable verse narrative. Host is well worth their while, and bodes well for Hymas’ future.” Mark Burnhope on Ink Sweat & Tears

“… excellent at capturing social and religious codes of behaviour, with the acuity of Austen or Alice Munro … Host is a tactile and muscular collection, rooted in the complexities and textures of the physical world. Hymas has created fresh and exuberant work that, at its best, captures the awe of being alive.” Sarah Westcott reviews Host on Eyewear, here

” … These poems do not just host or reside; they make a connection, a highway of energy between the physical, the limits of the body and the indefinable other. The thing I like most about this collection is the so-much-more-than landscape they offer: more, they are a being-in-ness, being-of-ness, that I very much enjoy.”Anna McKerrow

“I read Host four times through and, by the last reading, it felt like a pair of hands about my face shushing my over-caffeinated brain.” Peter Wild, Bookmunch

“Her language is bold, lively and richly textured and her characters’ voices are powerfully brought to life so that their passions, ambitions and disappointments are vividly heard and imagined.” Bernardine Evaristo

“These tersely written poems are rich in well-observed characters and phraseology, witty in the serious sense.They are a feast of defamiliarisation and significant foregrounding, a nourishing image of lives and landscapes.” Herbert Lomas

“Sarah Hymas’ confident language and vivid imagery gives an unusual vitality to this collection. In Bedrock four generations speak of their lives in a sequence that pays homage to the institution of the family. A clear eye for period detail and an ear for the inner voice bring the characters to life, their particular fears and pleasures, conflicts and tensions.
Elsewhere in the book, in poems of travel, people, sailing and self-reflection, she shows the same robust awareness of life’s underlying currents and quests together with a will to embrace its fun and poignancy. It’s good to be in such wholehearted company.” Mike Barlow

Performance

“Sarah’s short imagistic verse is harder to judge in reading than on the page, unlike much comic verse. Where she succeeds is with her lissom presence, literally dancing her poems. Sea imagery predominates but the sustained metaphor of The Midland Hotel as a glamorous, sexy movie starlet was effective.” The Lunecy Review

“I thought your performance of your exquisite and elevated poems was masterly, magnificent.”

“Listening to you and your poems is like listening to music.”

“I just wanted to thank you for a brilliant afternoon yesterday. It created a real buzz with those that attended, they were still talking about it when I saw them in the evening! I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.” Ansdell Library