Winner of Best Collaborative Work at the 2018 Sabotage Awards, Inheritance is a duet between poets Ruth Stacey and Katy Wareham Morris. Stacey writes the historical narrative and Wareham Morris the contemporary point of view.
‘2016. Nights of no sleep, new infant to feed and soothe; a woman reaches for an old box of papers to read. Letters, diary: fragments of a life long gone. The writing of a forgotten relative from the 19th century that she had always meant to do something with. Archive. Study. Yet, she never had the time, until now, when her baby ‘murmurs in the blue slate light’. The woman from the past is suddenly in her life, ‘soft as the nook between neck and ear’. Two voices trying to find their way through motherhood and marriage, whilst still clinging to their own identities.’
Jayne Marek review in The Lake Magazine
“The “inheritances” in this collection link past and present through the themes written about by these two well-matched poets. From “a box / of old photographs and a diary” comes the book’s premise: artistic give-and-take between Ruth Stacey (relative of the diarist) and Katy Wareham Morris. Most of the book’s poems alternate between those set in 1887 (by Stacey) and those set in 2016 (by Morris), introduced and concluded with poems by each from 2016. Shuttling back and forth in time and between writers, the poetry offers personae who address the experiences of new mothers caring for infants, but the book gives more than that: it explores larger questions of awareness that can—sometimes—bridge the gap between self and other.”
Caroline Hardaker review
“The poets create two distinct voices for the women. Our 2016 author speaks in a voice as clear as water, while our 1887 ancestor’s language sings with hypnotic lyrics and nature metaphors. I can’t explain quite how much I enjoyed sweeping between the two – which were so stylistically different and yet remarkably the same, as if one was the other’s shadow. Like the author, I’m also a lover of history, and the period imagery used in the 1887 poems struck me as spookily authentic. I’m sure ‘Inheritance’ will be a poetry pamphlet I’ll read again during the silent hours of the night, just as it should be.”