Review of ‘Alchemy’ by Fiona Perry

Nigel Kent - Poet

I have the pleasure of beginning 2021 by reviewing one of THE collections of 2020: ‘Alchemy’ by Fiona Perry (Turas Press, 2020), though it will be difficult to do justice to this fabulous first collection in the space available.

I don’t think Perry could have chosen a more appropriate title for a collection poems that deal with transmutation. Perry examines how events in our lives are transformational, impacting upon the nature of the inner self. Take for example, ‘Last Port of Call’. The recently bereaved husband struggles with how to grieve for his deceased wife; their marriage had been ‘a mistake’ and her loss leaves ‘his spirit’ like ‘a seaweed air sac//the illusion of volume hiding the dawn//of collapse.’ In order to come to terms with her death he must rewrite the history of their marriage: ‘he nets and caskets/ her in revised memory’ with the effect…

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