World's Two Smallest Humans by Julia Copus

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This is a beautiful, arresting, sympathetic collection – and hospitable to the reader.


Julia Copus's poems bring humanity and light to some of our most intimate and solitary moments, repeatedly breathing life into loss. In two previous collections, she has been feted as among the most compelling poets to have emerged in recent years; now, in The World's Two Smallest Humans, she is writing at her most captivating yet. These finely tuned poems are the fruit of her upbringing in a musical family, an affinity with the Classics, a fascination with the arc of time, and an unflinching scrutiny of love and personal relationships. Born out of a powerful sense of place, the poems navigate through a beguiling sequence of interior and exterior landscapes, whether revisiting Ovid, negotiating the perils of one composer's attempt to step into the shoes of another or describing, from shifting perspectives, a young girl's escape from suburban ennui. The book concludes with a moving arrangement of pieces that explore the author's experience of IVF: poems written with wry humour and with grace, which celebrate the mysteries of conception alongside the sometimes surreal business of medical intervention. The World's Two Smallest Humans is an unforgettable read.

About Julia Copus

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Julia Copus was born in London, near to the Young Vic theatre, and now lives in Somerset. Her two previous collections, The Shuttered Eye and In Defence of Adultery, were both Poetry Book Society Recommendations. She has won First Prize in the National Poetry Competition and the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem (2010). She also writes for radio; her first play, Eenie Meenie Macka Racka, was awarded the BBC's Alfred Bradley prize. She is a Lector for the Royal Literary Fund, and in 2008 was made an Honorary Fellow at the University of Exeter.
Published July 10, 2012 by Faber & Faber. 64 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Reviewed by Kate Kellaway on Aug 11 2012

This is a beautiful, arresting, sympathetic collection – and hospitable to the reader.

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