Caroline Bird, The Air Year


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Shortlisted for the Polari Book Prize 2021, the Costa Poetry Award 2020 and the The Forward Prize for Best Collection 2020.

The Air Year is a time of flight, transition and suspension: signatures scribbled on the sky. Bird’s speakers exist in a state of unrest, trapped in a liminal place between take-off and landing, undeniably lost. Love is uncontrollable, joy comes and goes at hurricane speed. They walk to the cliff edge, close their eyes and step out into the air.

Published 2020

Paperback: 64 pages

IPBN: 9781784109028

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Caroline Bird has five previous collections published by Carcanet. Her fifth collection, In These Days of Prohibition, was shortlisted for the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize and the Ted Hughes Award.

‘A stream of fun, juxtaposing disorientating pictures to form an abstract map of everything it means to fall in and out of love.’ Belinda Stiles, Stand Magazine

‘All shiny and exciting… Many of Bird’s speakers are in a free-fall of existential despair… searching for a moment of happiness that feels uncomplicated, and can last’ Jenna Clake, Poetry London

‘Although the collection was published last February…we will likely turn to it in the future when seeking words for the stagnation and embattled optimism of 2020 as a whole.’ Mary Anne Clark, Times Literary Supplement

‘It is one of the most generous and open-hearted books of the year.’ Rishi Dastidar, The Guardian Best Poetry Books of 2020

‘Her phrasemaking is sublime… it’s superb’ Tristram Fane Saunders, February Telegraph Book of the Month 2020

Caroline Bird is a poet and playwright. Her sixth collection, The Air Year, won the Forward Prize for Best Collection 2020 and was shortlisted for the Polari Prize and the Costa Prize. Her fifth collection, In These Days of Prohibition, was shortlisted for the 2017 TS Eliot Prize and the Ted Hughes Award. She was one of the five official poets at the 2012 London Olympics. As a playwright, Bird has been shortlisted for the George Devine Award and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Rookie, her Selected Poems was published in May 2022.

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