Penned in the Margins published Swims, the debut collection from Elizabeth-Jane Burnett. Swims is the mesmerising and evocative debut by Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, inspired by wild swimming. A book-length poem taking many forms, Swims navigates its way across the UK’s rivers, lakes and seas, investigating water’s effect on body and mind,
and the human impact on the natural world.
This stunning long poem is split into twelve chapters, each documenting a swim in a different river, lake or sea in England and Wales, and includes a beautiful short sequence on the illness of the poet’s father. As environmentally political as they are personal, these poems remind us of the power of swimming to transform the human spirit, registering what the water gives to us and what it takes away.
Swims has already been Highly Commended in this year’s Forward Prizes and selected as part of National Poetry Day’s trade initiative to see more poetry titles in the UK’s bookshops.
Fiercely ecological, each swim is conceived as an environmental action, testing the ways in which individuals might effect change. The debris-ridden seas of Fukushima haunt the
collection. A sinuous, innovative debut, Swims reminds us of the power of swimming to
transform the human spirit, registering what the water gives to us and what it takes away.
You can join the Author for the launch of Swims aboard the Tamesis Dock on the River Thames to hear Elizabeth-Jane read from the book and pick up your copy. Join us on Albert Embankment between Lambeth & Vauxhall Bridges from 6.30pm on Tuesday 26 September.