Caroline Bird (b. 1986, Leeds) intended the title of her collection The Air Year to refer to the first year of a relationship, ‘the anniversary prior to paper / for which ephemeral gifts are traditional’; in the year of coronavirus, it has taken on an eerie double meaning.
She writes: ‘I’m fascinated with the idea that poetry is about inserting a mystery into the reader’s life not clarifying one, that by the end of a poem you should know less than you did when you started, that a poem is a kind of amnesia injection that makes the immediate world strange again.’
Bird’s previous collection, In These Days of Prohibition, was shortlisted for both the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Ted Hughes Award; she is also a playwright, whose credits include The Trial of Dennis the Menace and a new translation of The Trojan Women.
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