Bitten Hair

Tessa Berring


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Blue Diode Publishing
3 October 2019
ISBN: 9781916405110
80 pages

From the publisher

Bitten Hair was Highly Commended in the 2020 Forward Poetry Prizes.

"There is both tenderness and violence in this book—and there is a beautiful need for reality, that undeniable urge ‘to run barefoot/ downstairs// still drizzled with sex or soap/ to quarter persimmons.’ The need for reality gives us strangeness. The strangeness gives lyric, that voice, so delicate and so raw: one feels like one is overhearing a love song in a time when all love songs are in crisis. Which of course exactly this book is. It takes broken shards of our moments, and sings them.” – Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic and Dancing in Odessa

“Early in Bitten Hair, Tessa Berring’s speaker informs us, ‘I like lean words,/ you know, like ‘spirit’/ and lightly placed/ unspeakable things.’ These lines are an invitation and a lens through which to read this wonderful collection. Bitten Hair is a lyrical, philosophical, and witty engagement with artistic and gendered assumptions about nature and artifice, longing and everyday violence. Here we learn the voice of the woman artist who is drawn to beauty and who, with sly humor, is drawn to seeing what happens when beauty is turned on its side. I love this book!” – Joanna Penn Cooper, author of The Itinerant Girl's Guide to Self-Hypnosis and What Is a Domicile