Maria Isakova Bennett was born and lives in Liverpool. She studied Fine Art, Art History and Creative Writing at the universities of Liverpool and Lancaster. Her poetry and reviews are widely published in the UK and Ireland and she has won and been placed in several international poetry competitions. In June 2017, she was awarded a Northern Writers’ Award by poet Clare Pollard. With poet Michael Brown, Isakova Bennett works on collaborative projects in galleries on Merseyside, and they recently launched a limited edition stitched poetry journal, Coast to Coast to Coast. She also works for charities and as a teacher.
Maria Isakova Bennett’s series of poems weaves its way through artistic and personal histories to explore both modernist sculpture and marital unrest. In response to the sculptural ‘poems’ of Salouda Raouda Choucair, structures made of clay, Isakova Bennett explores the use of white, blank space and gaps in her own exquisitely formed poems, showing a fascination with physical, material artworks. Alongside this immediate imagery are poems that contemplate space and rigidity in personal relationships. Interlinked in this pamphlet, these poems illuminate each other, and form a revealing comment on the different ways we consider fragmentation and realignment.
This intensely lyrical sequence of poems shapes sculpture into words – vivid, accessible, compelling, but most of all, humane. ‘Sculpture of Nine Verses’, for instance, derives from a piece of abstract art, but through its finely controlled language transforms itself into a wonderful, interconnected lyric of love, possession and survival. This is the sort of poetry that gives poetry a good name. JOHN GLENDAY