Introducing the September 2010 Readers – 3. Eleanor Rees

Eleanor Rees was born in Birkenhead, Merseyside in 1978. Her pamphlet collection Feeding Fire received an Eric Gregory Award in 2002 and her first full length collection Andraste’s Hair (Salt, 2007) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Glen Dimplex New Writers Awards. Salt published her second collection, Eliza and the Bear, last year.


East to west, west to east,
wetness crawls

the promenade wall.
Oil and chemical, salt and tar:

the night is in my throat.

I consume distances
at the edge of the river,

three am, solitary
held only by the rain and the sky.

The wind’s touch is courageous.

The stars are stags,
antlers pointed at each new shore

sailors discover
far from here, in some sunny waters.

I open to it like a mouth

and sense her shining
full height on the horizon,

as if the horizon is a ledge
she balances upon,

and hovering I rush to her,
her starriness, her electric pulses

that beckon, she widens:

I immerse myself in her thighs.
Her whiteness, her size.

I am her: the sea is a boat.
We ride until the dawn.

– from Andraste’s Hair

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