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ISBN:  9781 9164051 10


Bitten Hair was Highly Commended in the 2020 Forward Poetry Prizes.


"There is both tenderness and violence in this book—and there is a beautiful need for reality, that undeniable urge ‘to run barefoot/ downstairs// still drizzled with sex or soap/ to quarter persimmons.’ The need for reality gives us strangeness. The strangeness gives lyric, that voice, so delicate and so raw: one feels like one is overhearing a love song in a time when all love songs are in crisis. Which of course exactly this book is. It takes broken shards of our moments, and sings them.” – Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic and Dancing in Odessa


“Early in Bitten Hair, Tessa Berring’s speaker informs us, ‘I like lean words,/ you know, like ‘spirit’/ and lightly placed/ unspeakable things.’ These lines are an invitation and a lens through which to read this wonderful collection. Bitten Hair is a lyrical, philosophical, and witty engagement with artistic and gendered assumptions about nature and artifice, longing and everyday violence. Here we learn the voice of the woman artist who is drawn to beauty and who, with sly humor, is drawn to seeing what happens when beauty is turned on its side. I love this book!” – Joanna Penn Cooper, author of The Itinerant Girl's Guide to Self-Hypnosis and What Is a Domicile

Bitten Hair by Tessa Berring (ISBN:  9781 9164051 10)

SKU: 364215376135193
  • Embrace Me


    Skin is wipe-clean
    and my jeans fit well


    and once I wrote


    about my dream
    with men in it –


    all cotton wool heads!


    I chopped them off
    of course


    which was bloody
    like tampons


    and my hands stank
    of dead petunia.


    It was a good story
    nuanced and delicate


    someone said


    though they might not
    have meant it.


    It’s a relief about skin
    being easy to wipe


    and it’s good having jeans
    all over my legs.


    I like lean words,
    you know, like ‘spirit’


    and lightly placed
    unspeakable things.

  • Tessa Berring’s pamphlet Cut Glass and No Flowers was published by Dancing Girl Press in 2017. In addition to her own writing, she engages regularly with other collaborative and interdisciplinary art projects. She also works extensively in translation, most recently in Riga, with the Latvian Literature Platform. Bitten Hair is Tessa's first full poetry collection.

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