We are thrilled to be publishing Kate Foley‘s collection The Don’t Touch Garden in October. In the run up we’ve been doing some video interviews in which Kate explains how the book charts her adoption just before WWII and growing up in London during the Blitz; and her later discovery of her adoption and search for identity and her birth family.
Martyn Crucefix describes the collection like this:
Drawn from poems written over several years, this book’s dizzying ambition is to plot a path through the life of an adopted child. Foley does so with consummate skill, creating poetic forms to encompass the experiences of the child, her birth mother, her adoptive parents, aunts and midwives. Foley’s language is imagistic, fragmentary, full of jump-cuts, yet always vigorously carried forward through a set of clear-speaking voices to show us that the “DNA of years” is just as formative as that “tangle of parental DNA” we are each born with. There is suffering and lies, grief, distance and disappointment, but her message is ultimately an optimistic one: blood is not thicker than water; we are each of us, to a large extent, creators of ourselves, parents of ourselves. Brilliantly focused and carefully sequenced, these poems provide a thrilling and moving account of the processes by which any of us – adopted or not – become who we are.
Here is the first little bit of video, in which Kate reads a section of the long poem for which the collection is named: The Don’t Touch Garden.