Playing House is the debut poetry collection by the author of The Visitor (2013), a remarkable novel about loss and longing in Cornwall at the turn of the last century. As in her rich prose, in her poetry Katherine Stansfield has an eye for everyday detail. Her poems make us pause and consider. Whether describing a cat trying to get to an interesting-smelling morsel under the fridge, the auction of one of John Lennon’s teeth, the recipe for a crisp sandwich, or “raspberries lured to ripeness by the rain”, she moves from the familiar to the surprising and enchants in the process. Her images are clearly defined.The voice is authentic, subtle but strong. The title of the volume comes from First Place, a poem about a couple’s attempts at adult life.Full of thought, fun and beauty, Playing House is the real deal.
- This review first appeared in the Cape Times in November 2014.