Emily Berry

Emily Berry’s latest collection is Unexhausted Time.

On Mary Ruefle

Emily Berry, 14 December 2023

Mary Ruefle​ is the kind of poet who can make Tupperware seem transcendent. Here’s the beginning of her ten-line rapture ‘Peridot’, which compares a rotting lime to a semi-precious gemstone:

I awoke in an ecstasy.The sky was the colour of a cut limethat had sat in the refrigeratorin a plastic containerfor thirty-two days.Fact-checkers, check.

American poets have never tired...

From The Blog
21 April 2023

When I had a bad back, I used to go to a special gym for people with musculoskeletal pain. My father had been recommending it for years but of course I paid no attention to him. It was only when someone else also spoke highly of it that I thought it might be worth a try. Kieser Training is a Swiss company specialising in strength training whose UK branch (RIP) was located in the basement of the art deco Carreras Cigarette Factory building in Mornington Crescent. The effigies of two enormous black cats guard its entrance, and the façade is adorned with the faces of further black cats that stare down at the street with yellow eyes. The gym, by contrast, was delightfully utilitarian, with no music or TV screens, just a large room full of complicated-looking machinery into which comparatively tiny people were folded, slowly raising and lowering their limbs

Silent as a Fire Alarm: Selima Hill

Emily Berry, 6 October 2022

Selima Hill’s work often seems tactile – or ‘sensory’, as she herself has described it. Some of the short poems have the immediacy and speechlessness of found objects or readymades. And, like such objects, they can feel indivisible, complete in themselves, so that one hardly thinks of quoting from them except in their entirety.

Poem: ‘(Light)’

Emily Berry, 10 February 2022

Light stretching my late summer shadow longover parched grass, low sun, this alive, thisevening. Light of mid-morning picking outall the trees’ capillaries, black against the lightof blue’s possibilities, would I rush outsideto see this, yes I would, this light? It’s so kind,it remembers me. Light of first thing, spilled skymixing day up, all the colours that go into day,you...

Poem: ‘Paris’

Emily Berry, 15 July 2021

I went to Paris to visit a writer I admired. Because I was not confident he really wanted me to be there, he promised me that he did and we hugged for a long time but he let go first and I was not completely reassured. In his apartment he had taken my photograph when I had just finished showering and was looking rather dishevelled because I had dressed hurriedly and I asked if he would take...

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