Tuesday 15 March 2022

Rebecca Hurst, "The Fox's Wedding"


Rebecca Hurst is a writer, opera-maker and illustrator. She was born in East Sussex and now lives in Greater Manchester. Rebecca’s poetry has appeared in various international magazines, including The Rialto, PN Review, Agenda, Aesthetica, The Clearing, and Magma Poetry. In 2021 a selection of her poems was published in the Carcanet anthology New Poetries VIII. Rebecca has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester and was artist in residence at the John Ryland’s Library from autumn 2019 to spring 2020. She is co-founder of the Voicings Collective.

Reena Makwana is a London-based illustrator creating illustrations using drawings, embroidery and print. Her work is influenced by the city, characters, creatures, social past and present. She has produced work for clients including Vittles, Pit Magazine, Endeavour Agency, Lecker, Big Family Press, OOMK and At The Table. Visit her website here

About The Fox's Wedding, by Rebecca Hurst, illustrated by Reena Makwana

Rebecca Hurst’s debut pamphlet is woven through with fairy tales, folklore and landscape. She uses the natural world, family mythology and the theory of fairy tales to unpack, embroider, and explode traditional tales and tropes, exploring themes of voice, concealment, and transformation. Prickling with magic and spells, the poems in The Fox’s Wedding lead us down a twisty path to find – what? A prince made of needles? A cursed box? A golden key? Take care and keep your wits about you; if you’re lucky you might just find your way home.

From The Fox's Wedding

The Unreliable Narrator

Not a field,
a forest.
Not a key,
a hammer.
Not a sword,
a spindle.
Not a chair,
a ladder.
She barks
like a vixen
boxing with shadows
in the midnight garden.
No guide,
she leaves you
on the mountain pass
to wake in the precinct
at dawn
in a nest of newsprint
while around you
rowdy as rooks
gossip, smoke, spar.
If there is truth
in her
she has yet to find
its edge.
Still, when she gives you
a sprig of larkspur
or a glass of tea
take it.
The amber leaves
blossom as they steep.
The glass sings.
Take a scalding sip.

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