Nicki Heinen’s debut collection is half a lifetime in the making. The voice rings clear throughout every circumstance. Refusing to be dehumanised by medicalisation and attacks on agency, it is exact about its locations and attentive to transformations… Rosebuds and pearls, secrets and insomnia, lace this night-time book where the same poem, or line, can zoom in as small as an oyster or roll out as large as Zeus’s rape of Europa. Recording confinement in literally shitty places and ancillary roles, this collection ultimately chooses to sing a love that is simple and animal, and of astronomical proportions. - VAHNI CAPILDEO
Nicki Heinen studied English at Girton College, Cambridge, where she won the Barbara Wrigley Prize for Poetry. She received an MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths College in 2012, achieving a distinction. Her work has been published in a variety of print and online magazines and anthologies, and she was shortlisted for the Pat Kavanagh Prize in 2012. She founded and hosts Words & Jazz, a spoken word and music night, at the Vortex Jazz Café. She lives in North London.