Review of ‘Fool’s Paradise’ by Zoe Brooks

Nigel Kent - Poet and Reviewer

Sometimes a poetry book crosses your desk that you know instantly is very special. You don’t have to read very much of Fool’s Paradise (Black Eyes Publishing, 2022) to recognise that this is a remarkable book written by a highly-skilled poet totally at ease with her craft. I knew Zoe Brooks’ writing from her collection, Owl Unbound (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2020) and through hearing her read at Zoom sessions with the Cheltenham Poetry Festival. As a consequence I have been an admirer of her work for some time, but even given that I was surprised by the quality of the writing and the intellectual force that drives this compellingly layered work.

Fool’s Paradise is a poem for voices. It tells the story of a journey made by three travellers to a great city at the end of a bloody conflict. Significantly the journey begins ‘Between two rocks at a crossroads’:…

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