Stroking Cerberus

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Shortlisted   —Cinnamon Literature Prize2020

‘This dazzling series shows that if the barriers can be vaulted there is true beauty to be had from the lesser-walked streets of literature. These works are both nourishing and inspiring, and a gift to any reader.’—Kerry Hudson

The living have always told themselves stories about the dead, but few of us stop to wonder if the dead ever tell tales of the living. Through the prism of Haskell’s identity as a deaf poet come the themes of communication—or miscommunication—across worlds, languages and between the living and the dead.

Mythical dogs, the dead who mourn the living, and the sorrow of those reincarnated, join hands around Jacqueline Haskell’s unique and very personal poetic Ouija board to resonate with the living, the dead and all those in-between. As forcible as they are humorous, these are poignant and thought-provoking poems.

Spotlight Books is a collaboration between Creative Future, New Writing South and Myriad Editions to discover, guide and support writers who are under-represented due to mental or physical health issues, disability, race, class, gender identity or social circumstance.

In the same series: Cora Vincent by Georgina Aboud; Memories of a Swedish Grandmother by Sarah Windebank; Summon by Elizabeth RidoutCrumbs by Ana Tewson-Bozic and The Haunting of Strawberry Water by Tara Gould.

Buy the six Spotlight Books for £25.00 HERE.

Jane Monson

18 October 2019

A graceful, refreshingly wise and grounding collage of life, death, loss, other-life, myth, nature and invention. These infinite themes are uniquely handled and dexterously narrated by Haskell. Stroking Cerberus is a stunning, original debut collection that encourages contemplation as much as it motivates the reader to explore and review where separations occur and opposites coalesce. This is a timely, intimate, but far-reaching narrative, and a necessary joy to get to know.

Contrary Reader, Bookstagrammer

Time for some #StonecircleSaturday and some communing with the underworld. I honestly did wonder of this #megalith was Cerberus or some other unearthly creature rendered stone. It felt somehow alive, or at the very least watchful- like an attentive hell hound.

The stones at #StantonDrew were beautiful, if not quite at the magnitude of Avebury or Stonehenge. Those questions resound, unanswered as to what their true purpose was but here I really felt like they were a gateway to the underworld. A connection to that unseen beyond our existence.

It was the perfect pairing for this thoughtful little book of poetry from @myriad_editions entitled #StrokingCerberus. These age old questions still linger- and if you are a spook like me you will fully appreciate these poems that communicate with those lost- passed over- no longer in our reach. Especially in relation to experiments from the likes of Edison. We are always seeking the truth, no more so than when we are at a loss to explain what is in our hearts and happening beyond our control.

Perfect for those that walk the dark side, seeking truth, like me.

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