ABOUT THE COLLECTION
“Ruth Stacey’s new collection revels in the frank and often stark geographies of mental health and the playful and often political complexities of the muse. By creating a sweeping panorama of the blindingly bright – and occasionally dangerous – contexts in which the muse inspires, cajoles, and deceives, I, Ursula animates the raw truths of emotional fragility and various forms of haunting through a staggering range of voices and ghostly imaginings. This inventive tour of connection and disconnection, observing and being observed, leaves the reader contemplating power dynamics in both relationships and the creation (and consumption) of art in chilling new ways.” Carolyn Jess-Cooke
“Stricken and painfully well-observed, Ruth Stacey’s new collection is replete with our magical excuses, boundless infatuations, loyalties and sanctuaries. Her work is particularly poignant on the porousness between our inner and outer lives. To enter the poems is to feel another consciousness pressing against your own through a boundary that seems, for a moment, not to exist.”
I, Ursula is very haunting and very enigmatic. Published by V.Press poetry 2020
Cover image by Magdalena Kaczan, 2020
Fiona Sampson: Today’s new publishing lists are giving readers what they want, though old habits of coverage can die hard. Disproportionately overlooked are non-metropolitan poets such as Ruth Stacey, whose second collection, the mysterious and fabular I, Ursula (V. Press £10.99) appears from an award-winning West Midlands micropublisher. The book conjures a Dantesque lost forest, where foxes and wild children wrestle amid the spells and rhymes of oral tradition: “Apricot is the colour / of a setting ball of / flame, my beloved.” But in this piercingly unsentimental report from Angela Carter territory, the most dangerous “beast” is already “in the house”.