Rachel McCrum's The First Blast to Awaken Women Degenerate is a soulful and defiant collection (4 stars)

Rachel McCrum's The First Blast to Awaken Women Degenerate is a soulful and defiant collection

Debut poetry collection places emphasis on the voices of women and their strength, rage and vulnerabilities

Rachel McCrum's debut poetry collection, The First Blast to Awaken Women Degenerate, is bold yet sensitive, effervescent yet sincere, placing emphasis on the voices of women and their strength, rage and vulnerabilities.

There's a sense of tenderness and melodic richness in McCrum's language but the lyrical movement of the words and their unpredictable structure encourages a performative quality which works to underline the range of narratives on show. From the displaced in 'Who wants a home?' to the fierce in 'I am Gigi Hadid's left elbow', each piece is an insight into histories, memories and identities. The 'Problems to Sharpen the Youth' poems are particularly affecting in their discussions of crossing water and the analogies that can be made between modern-day forced movement and migration.

Though she now calls Montreal home, McCrum's contributions to the poetry and spoken word scene in Scotland – both as an individual and as half of Rally & Broad – have been indispensable. It is no surprise then that The First Blast is another impassioned addition to her repertoire, providing a soulful and yet defiant collection of structures, sounds and voices.

Out Thu 17 Jul, published by Freight

Post a comment