We’ve already waxed lyrical about how much we love poetry and so Katya Boirand’s collection, Take Me to the Edge, published by Unbound, simply had to be read.

It’s an interesting premise, to ask a selection of people, from different walks of life, for five words and then to weave them together into a poem, written quickly, ‘often’, the author says, ‘taking no longer than five minutes’. The result of Boirand’s endeavours are the 29 poems featured in this compact book, each accompanied by a stylish photograph of the muse.

It is an eclectic mix, some pieces short, little more than fragments really, others longer with a little more substance. Most seem to reflect the essence of the people whose words inspired them. We meet them in the last section of the book and they range from Boirand’s own friends and family to creative directors, writers, fashion designers and yoga teachers. Here we also see the five words that each chose and it might have been more interesting to have included the latter on the poetry spread itself and to know a little more about the inspiration.

If I have a minor gripe though, it’s the book’s price. It’s a hardback of c. 80 pages – £20 seems steep, more fitting for a beautiful special edition perhaps.

That said, I hope the book does well. It deserves to. It’s a great idea, well-executed, with well-shot photography. Certainly a lot of love, joy and thought appear to have gone into its creation. And in a world gone mad, we really do need all those things. What can be better than that?




Take me to the edge | Katya Boirand | Unbound | May 2019 | hardback | £20.00

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Acknowledgements: This review is published as part of the virtual book tour – many thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours and the publisher for sending us a review copy and jacket image. All opinions are our own. All rights reserved.


Also of interest:Joe Nutt’s The Point of Poetry’; ‘W.B. Yeats reads his own poetry’; ‘Sylvia Plath interviewed in 1962‘; ‘Poems that make grown men cry‘; ‘I am half agony, half hope‘;‘Falling from the Floating World’; ‘Delia Owen’s Where the Crawdad’s Sing’; ‘The Story Keeper, Anna Mazzola’s Gothic novel‘; ‘Midland‘; ‘A Greater God‘; ‘Lisa Ko’s The Leavers, Dialogue’s brilliant debut; ‘We should all be feminists’; The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’;RW Kwon’s The Incendiaries’; ‘Beautiful words – The Language of Secrets’; ‘Beauty in translation – Roxanne Bouchard’s French Canadian noir‘; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”’; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love).

This review is © 2019 by The Literary Shed. All rights reserved. All opinions are our own. We welcome your feedback and comments. If you wish to reproduce this piece, please do contact us to request permission. Thank you so much.