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Turning on the drawn-out thread of a relationship in freefall, the poems in Votive, the skilful and seductive second collection by Keiran Goddard, are small prayers uttered out of an ambiguous faith. They are dreams, visions, and hallucinations; the body is made a bonsai tree, the sea hisses into the spaces between the lines, the voice speaks invocations to the minute. These poems are ‘granular things / that flow freely when touched’.


Unapologetically yearning, this collection moves through three distinct sections, from the ‘scabrous hope’ of new love through painful eroticism and loss, and finally into the wide river of an open-ended spiritual question. These poems ask, rather than answer, their rhyme and rhythm creating something devotional, an unworldly interior that is ‘ruthless and summoned’.


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