B paperback, 76pp
‘Goddard’s short line is so skilfully crafted it functions like an aperture, a keyhole into cavernous, flickering spaces. What goes through is thought through, felt through. This is unexpected poetry of the finest distillation.'
'A prefatory line from Simone Weil sets the coordinates for this remarkable triptych. These stripped-back lyrics of love, woundedness, the possibility of prayer, have a meditative quality like Weil’s "attention", but they are rooted in the physical world, in the body – ambitious, troubled and beautiful.’
Michael Symmons Roberts
'Goddard's three meticulously constructed sequences, unassumingly titled with numerals, present elusive and mesmerising glimpses into a deeply layered, private world. This work rewards re-reading, and reading aloud, with crisp and luxurious consonants and rhythms made to fall from the tongue, hush or pop in the air. Votive conjures up experiences of a religious quality, both heavenly and otherworldly: "the scintilla, the numinous / the symbol, the paint".'
PBS Selectors, 2019
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’.
'Keiran Goddard’s poetry throws light on the things you’re not supposed to notice; the fear and the beauty in a lover’s handwriting, a snapped vine, an uneasy friendship. No cutting through swathes of irony or meta-hedging; Goddard does things the hard way so you don’t have to. Old codes, imminent disasters, the raw clay of change.'
'Keiran Goddard is a writer who sees the visionary in the ordinary . . . The voice is perfectly judged, with never a surplus word.'