Shine Darling, Ella Frears

  • Dartington Hall
  • May 26
  • 20:00 - 22:00
  • 16
Event Website

This is an exciting opportunity to see our poet-in-residence read from her collection Shine, Darling. These are wry, vivid poems whose power lies in their intimacy; they are as insistent as they are circumspect, drawing close to the reader’s ear and bringing them into confidence.

The engine of Shine, Darling is one of strength, of fortitude in confronting and surviving the world, of a lifted-chin audacity – ‘There was pain,’ the speaker allows, ‘but it was not new pain.’

Ella Frears’s collection Shine, Darling (Offord Road Books, 2020) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry. Ella is a trustee and editor for Magma poetry magazine and has been poet in residence for Tate Britain, the National Trust, Royal Holloway University physics department, and the John Hansard Gallery among others. Ella’s poems about the St Ives Modernists are currently on show at Tate St Ives. She was recently named the first ever Poet in Residence for the Dartington Trust gardens.

Frears’s work is world-weathered rather than world-weary, delighted by service stations, steamy liaisons on bins in Cornwall, in constant communion with the moon. It lives for the power-play of people, of the pull of the sea, the smoky air – ‘Stormy, sticky with flies’ – and tangled underbrush where the land ends. Her characters test each other, experimenting with the boundaries of physical violence, of punishment, of traps, all the while drawing the reader into a complicity that gives these poems all their daring, electrifying muscularity. In Shine, Darling, the desire to expose and disclose wrestles with defence and defiance.

The result is exhilarating, a ‘glorious full-bodied’ debut collection with the draw of an adamant tide.

‘Frears’ work is ideal for poetry newbies – the intriguing narration will immediately draw you in. She splices humour with thought-provoking imagery and Fleabag-style talk-to-camera- moments that will make you feel seen.’ Stylist Magazine, Dec 2021

‘Fizzing with insistent energy… full of crystalline images and metaphors…. Frears is excellent on sexual politics, the end of girlhood.’ The Guardian, May 2020

‘This poet is a bit special. She’s exciting, a bit scary and sort of brilliant’ Frank Skinner, Poetry Podcast May 2021