Poet, and significantly translator, Sasha Dugdale’s fourth collection, Deformations, takes two important, and apparently diverse series, which are linked and book-ended by less overtly connected poems. Reading as the poet has ordered makes an intriguing journey, but some of the real bonding is to be found in the overlapping of the poems traversing the two major sections. They suggest a great deal of how Dugdale has not only uncovered aspects of the central characters but also the nature of attempting to shed their influences. In ‘Eternal Feminine’, she says of the Downs (and much more) ‘Their backs wear thin like wedding velvet/worn at a funeral[.].’ Deformations’ cover describes the ‘preoccupation with biographical and mythical narrative’ and ‘how trauma is disguised and deformed through myth and art.’
This is an excerpt of a review on the DURA website by Beth McDonough of Sasha Dugdale's TS Eliot Prize shortlisted Deformations. For more information on Dugdale at StAnza21, please click HERE. To read the whole review, go to the DURA webpage.