Review of ‘Forbidden-by-the-Sea’ by Kathleen Kenny

Nigel Kent - Poet and Reviewer

I am delighted to review this week a poet from that wonderful Scottish poetry publisher, Dreich. I’m a relative latecomer to the readership of Dreich publications, but they have rapidly become one of my favourite publishers. Kathleen Kenny and her Forbidden-by-the-sea is typical of the high quality of its output.

Kenny tells us that this collection is a product of ‘a year spent wrangling with love and life, whilst renting a shore-side cottage within spitting distance of the North Sea.’ A year in a cottage by the seaside sounds idyllic, but Kenny’s focus is on realities rather than on dreams, on the world as we experience it, rather than on the world as we would like it or imagine it to be. It’s not that she doesn’t deal with fantasy, but when she does she shows is to be distracting and destructive. For example, in House Hunting she describes the…

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