Cardiff-based poet Christina Thatcher is set to release her second poetry collection How To Carry Fire. Here is the title poem from the book due to be published by Parthian Books on April 2nd. Look out for the next podcast when Christina will be talking about the collection and sharing more poems.
How to Carry Fire
Conjure every fire you have ever read about—
London’s gutting, Brisbane’s breadless
factory, Boston’s burning. Remember
your aching home, the leftovers
of your childhood journals flaking
in the hot shell of your bedroom.
Bring these to a furnace at the front, stoke
with the poker your father pressed into
your mother’s neck. Take what those flames
can give you. Feel heat enter your stomach.
Stay wary now. You must never let the light
go out. Keep it lit until you learn to glow.
This poem was originally published on Anthropocene poetry where you can also read two other poems.
How to Carry Fire was born from the ashes of family addiction. Beginning with the burning down of her childhood home, Thatcher explores how fire can both destroy and cleanse. Her work recognises embers everywhere: in farmhouses, heroin needles, poisonous salamanders.
Thatcher reveals how fire is internalised and disclosed through anxiety, addiction, passion and love. Underneath and among the flames runs the American and Welsh landscapes – locations which, like fire itself, offer up experiences which mesmerise, burn and purify. This poignant second collection reminds us of how the most dangerous and volatile fires can forge us – even long after the flames have died down.
Shortlisted for the Bare Fiction Debut Poetry Collection Competition in 2015 and a winner in the Terry Hetherington Award for Young Writers in 2016, Christina Thatcher’s poetry and short stories have featured in over 50 publications including The London Magazine, Planet Magazine, And Other Poems, Acumen and The Interpreter’s House. Her first collection, More than you were, was published by Parthian Books in 2017.
How to Carry Fire can be ordered here
Listen to Christina talking about her first collection More Than You Were in this interview from 2016