In this genre-bending debut Mariah Whelan tells the love story of ‘He’ and ‘She’. Once lovers and now… something else, in this collection of sonnets the poems roam across the UK, Europe, Japan and South Korea to explore the oldest of lyric subjects – love, desire, friendship and betrayal. By turns painful, playful and sensual these poems explore the bonds that tie lovers and friends together in a collection of startling formal energy and emotional candour.
the love i do to you is now available here and through all good book shops
The admirable achievement of Mariah Whelan’s the love i do to you lies not just in its page-turning fusion of lyrical poetics and dramatic narration, but in the moving power of its steady and intimate candour. Whelan’s transformative sense of scene – ‘your words like trolleys/half-submerged in the river-clay and weeds’ – is never less than compelling, its psychological alertness quietly propulsive from start to finish.
– Jane Draycott, author of THE OCCUPANT (Carcanet)
Mariah Whelan’s first book is a love affair going wrong in three different places, the UK, Japan and Korea: its protagonists only slowly learn about what they are doing to one another, and to themselves, but their sentimental education is grippingly told, its formal achievement as a sonnet sequence understated, and full of incidental pleasures, like the tuna which “wobbles on the blade, gelatinous with fish stink. / “Eat,” he said, the trails of connective tissue dangling.”
– John Mcauliffe, author of OF ALL PLACES (Gallery Press)