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Wunderkammer by Helen Ivory - Book Review

Wunderkammer by Helen Ivory

Mad Hat Press 2023

ISBN: 978-1-952335-57-0

This remarkable collection documents the poetic development of Helen Ivory’s work from 2002 to 2019, with the addition of a selection of poems from How to Construct a Witch awaiting publication by Bloodaxe in 2024.

Why “Wunderkammer”? As a writer, I can attest that titles are significant and potent. Therefore, before diving into this collection, I undertook a little research. The Wunderkammer (literally translated as a room of wonder) has a long history stretching at least as far back as the 1600s, being a “a place where a collection of curiosities and rarities is exhibited”.  Contemporary artists like Louise Bourgeoise and Damien Hirst have a predilection for this kind of phenomena, with the curious and the weird. Nowadays we might call the wunderkammer a “Cabinet of Curiosities”, one we might peer into, to be both fascinated and repelled in turn, one where mystery, magic and the natural world collide.

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On the Storytelling Sofa - With True Stories Live

About 18 months ago, True Stories Live launched in Norwich. It’s an innovative young company using anecdotal performance storytelling to galvanise and inspire communities.

I first met Lucy and Molly, the TSL crew, at Storyhouse, Chester and was persuaded to tell my true story at one of their events.

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