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Whip-hot & Grippy Reviews

Whip-hot & Grippy by Heather Phillipson

Whip-hot & Grippy

Heather Phillipson

Score pending

1 review

Category: Poetry, Non-fiction
Imprint: Bloodaxe Books Ltd
Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd
Publication date: 25 Apr 2019
ISBN: 9781780374673

Whip-hot & Grippy is Heather Phillipson's second collection, following her highly praised debut, Instant-flex 718, published in 2013. As well as being an award-winning poet, she is an internally renowned artist whose sculpture, `The End', will be installed on Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth in 2020.

3 stars out of 5

"laugh-out-loud funny [with] a feminist bite"

I’ve read a dozen mature, polished, respectable poetry books published in the last month. This is not one of them. Phillipson’s unhinged second collection is stuffed with junk-food and junk language, a maximalist mode “somewhere/ between bile slipstream and a shriek”. It’s often laugh-out-loud funny: “my inner world has to be hoisted/ thru windows like a grand piano/ only atonal & heftier”. Her style is influenced by American modernism, particularly the late John Ashbery, but with a feminist bite that feels utterly 2019, hitting similar notes to Rebecca Tamás’s Witch, an equally pungent highlight of this year... The energy falters in an occasionally affecting but over-extended 70-page elegy to a dead dog. Phillipson excels at apocalyptic snark, but seems less sure what to do with “feelings”, except put the word downpage in a bigger font.