The selected works of poetry by Roz Kaveney
WAKING INTO DREAM is her third collection - it has poems about love, sex, death, fame, art and story.
There are poems here about being trans - celebratory poems about the new generation of trans and genderqueer people, and terrified poems about anti-trans violence and forced de-transition.
Roz writes wryly and lyrically about sexual love - and how it persists in old age even in relationships that don't have a physical outlet. A lot of the poems are about death - there's a series of five elegies to difficult and brilliant women Roz Kaveney knew and a lot of sonnets about celebrities who formed part of her personal mythology. Narrative poems are coming back into fashion - there are several ballad poems about 'wicked' women struggling with a not wholly imaginary 18th century, some poems about how Ancient Egyptians navigated their afterlife and a nightmarish ballad about Roz's experience of physical abuse at school. There are a number of political poems, most notably the sequence 'The Poet to her Young Comrades' written in 2012 but terrifyingly relevant in the era of Trump and Brexit.
Roz Kaveney's poems are a deliberate allusion to the grand tradition, but with a bitter queer twist of modernity to them.
Hung in closed cupboards of my dozing mind
Or on their shelves, frocks shoes I used to wear.
No moth no broken heel no hems that tear
Nail catch dance step. I left them all behind
Months clean sheets bandaged bled out cut and sore
Doing my face in bed so I'd look well
For visitors. Whore face I'd paint to sell
Now reassuring friends. Ached to the core
Of who I'd been weak tired sad gross from bloat
Dance done I thought. And had not learned that charm
Would bring blonde cuties floating on my arm
I wish that i could send sick girl a note
Things work out fine. Wear black from head to toe.
It slims. And other things she'll need to know.
These people are helping to fund Waking into Dream.