Leeds launch of Lifting the Piano with One Hand by Gaia Holmes
It’s always good to see poets who have been published in Orbis doing so well – her poem is still one of my favourites: ‘Living with a Genius’, #132 in 2005.
The Flux Gallery, 16a Midland Road, Headingley, Leeds, LS6 6BQ
7.30pm; Free event
‘More like incantation or witchcraft – these poems are spells, taking the most ordinary and mundane of things, including jokes and sadness, and working some metamorphosis on them, so they shine like stars – tiny but brilliant.’ – Sara Maitland
‘Like the narrator of her title poem, Gaia Holmes performs elegant feats, her language effortless and remarkable. This is a haunting but often witty collection.’ – Helen Mort
‘Here we see Holmes deepening the distinctive voice which made Dr James Graham’s Celestial Bed such an impressive debut. An engaging collection from a poet going from strength to strength.’ – Cathy Galvin
‘Gaia Holmes became my favourite contemporary female poet the moment I read her potent, enchanting art. A wordsmith chef mixing the magic of the concrete and sensory with the imaginative, she is like a young Lady Prospero, able to make eiderdown moonlight or lift a neglected piano up to the skylight.’ – Joan Jobe Smith
The poetry of Gaia Holmes delves deep beneath the urban and the quotidian to reveal a strange and exotic other-life. This, her much-anticipated second collection, champions the survivor and celebrates the indomitability of the self, measuring at each turn the cost suffered against the hope retained, the loss still felt against the new-found strength of starting afresh.
Gaia Holmes is a West Yorkshire-born poet and a graduate of Huddersfield University’s English with Creative Writing BA, and has previously made a living as a busker, a cleaner, a gallery attendant, an oral historian, a lollipop lady, a poet in residence at Bradford Library, a freelance writer and Creative Writing lecturer. As well as being a familiar face on the local poetry scene, Gaia Holmes is also known nationally. She has read at literary festivals throughout Britain and beyond. Her poem ‘Claustrophobia’ was highly commended in the ‘Best Individual Poem’ category of the Forward Poetry Prize, 2007 and ‘A Homesick Truckie in the Algarve’ was the featured poem in Frieda Hughes’ weekly literary column in The Times (May 2007).