In his review of Carrie Etter’s Diving For Starters for Stride Magazine Martin Stannard says:
“This is a poetry of elegance and grace, of things spoken and unspoken, the known and almost known and the intuited, and it’s quite stunning. I don’t know exactly what it all means, but it’s stunning and unforgettable nevertheless, which is something like what poetry should be, isn’t it?
We bought our copy as a result of Martin’s words and holy cow is he right! This is a poet writing with confidence and surety. Yes we are at the experimental end of things, out there with the kooky fringe dwellers painting with words, but what words, what poise, what perfect balance of imagery from beginning to end. Etter says in her recent review of Carol Watts Occasionals “in much avant garde poetry, the poems create meaning not line by line but through the whole of each piece“. This is equally true of Diving For Starters. These are not linear narratives and nor are they intended to be. These poems are scatterings of words carefully positioned on the page in order to evoke, to intimate, to hint. To draw an emotional response, to conjure and probe. Like eating at a Michelin Star restaurant it is not until every flavour on the plate has compounded on your taste buds that you appreciate the whole.
Rather than quote from the poems I am going to point you here to the Shearsman site (where you can download a sample for yourselves), because to quote you a fragment of any of these poems is to entirely miss the point and it would quite rude to quote a whole poem without permission!
If there is any justice in the world this excellent collection will win Carrie Etter the next TS Eliot award. Or the Ted Hughes or something with some press miles, prestige and sales boosting rockets attached. But if the recent Forward list is any indication Carrie will need to wear a comedy beard and speak gruffly to qualify. Regardless she gets our Avant Garde Hero of The Year Award.