There are cracks running visibly through the poems in Cain Named the Animal. From reading reviews of American poet Shane McCrae’s earlier collections, National Book Award Finalist In the Language of My Captor and T S Eliot prize shortlisted Sometimes I Never Suffered, cracks persist throughout them too as well as no punctuation with space instead serving as a kind of punc- tuation coupled with stumbling repetitions stumbling and the odd / line break depicted odd as you would write it in an essay or review. it is an arresting device and one that initially to me, initially was a distraction seeming to get i n the way of me hearing the poems in my head.
I might not have read this novel were it not longlisted for the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize. The hardcover with its stylised Edward Bawden-like black and red linocut of a rural scene – red sun, red fox, and red blurb byline counterbalanced by the bold black lines of plant life – seemed, well, just a Read More