Hand Over Mouth Music
- 9781786942142 (Paperback)
Janette Ayachi’s dazzling first collection moves between remembered and imagined spaces as she celebrates the world’s variousness, and the energies and exhaustions of the body. Revelling in the many voices she might find for herself, Ayachi locates herself in both her Algerian and Scottish roots, her relationships with her family and lovers, her own motherhood, and an equally joyful but more precarious exploration of desire. More than anything, this book is a celebration of all Ayachi loves and has loved, especially her own daughters. It is a book that makes a space for itself in the disruptive pleasures of writing, in the face of all that might stifle her, alive to all the potentials of laughter and silence as well as song.
ReviewsFor previous work: 'No-one reading her poetry could doubt Ayachi’s determination to experience life as acutely as possible. Despite the prevalence of ghostly figures and spiritual voices, her poetry smacks of living life to the full and encapsulates the world from a whole host of different angles.' [...] Unlike many modern poets who have a tendency to use minimal or plain words in an interesting fashion, Ayachi uses all words in all fashions, in layers of baroque inspired language which tangle together to form visceral images and visions. [...] Janette Ayachi lends poetry a gothic glamour as a sort of linguistic dark fairy with an innate Scottish ability to handle hard-core liquor – quite frankly a role that urgently needed filling in the contemporary poetry landscape.'
Rhona Scullion, For Booksake
'A history of 'charred loves' evolves here in the nervy, attentive poems of Janette Ayachi. New York, LA, Barcelona, Las Vegas and Amsterdam are the haunted rooms that the poet explores. Their various cultures shape her forms and images, but it is the relationships that sustain interest, redolent with passion and its aftermaths.'
Amy Wack, Editor of Seren
'As Janette Ayachi started to read, I felt the world open out before me. Her poems ranged from Venice to Barcelona, to the Adriatic Sea, to airports, ‘where the choked heart unclogs itself.’ She spoke with the uninhibited wanderlust of someone who is utterly in love with travel, and by the time her reading ended, I thought my own wanderlust couldn’t get any more pronounced.'
‘Janette Ayachi uses words in a rich, painterly way to create layer upon layer of images that are both moving and evocative. Her work draws the reader into different worlds, allowing us to experience these worlds with all our senses.’
Table of Contents
|I Laughed So Much I Lost My Voice||9|
|Aphrodite Hikes Up Her Skirt in April||13|
|On Keeping a Wolf||14|
|Falling Asleep On Your Last Memory||18|
|Dean Street Gardens||19|
|Summer of Funerals||21|
|Il Piccolo Paradiso||22|
|Secret Garden in Spring||24|
|Clouds from Marseille to Annaba||32|
|Ramadan in Annaba||39|
|Shame in the Family||40|
|Youma and the Three Kings||41|
|Youma and the Moon||42|
|What She Saw||43|
|Everything Is Diminished Without You In It||44|
|Walking After Midnight||45|
|Hand Over Mouth Music||46|
|Princes Street Gardens||50|
|Birds of Passage||52|
|Delta of Italy||54|
|Whale-Bone and Blood-Letting||59|