January 22, 2009


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Sunday at the Skin Launderette, by Kathryn Simmonds (2008, Seren, 62 pages)
By Dan Szczesny letters@hippopress.com

Here’s another editor turned poet, Kathryn Simmonds, turning out a first book of poetry. But the results could not be more different. The London-based academic has turned to a tiny publisher and released a slim but amazing volume of deeply felt poetry full of personal observations about the mundane, from cooking to commuting to office work.

Simmonds captures the everyday casually and elegantly. She’s not interested in fancy line work or obscure references.

Instead, Simmonds immerses herself in simple, funny storytelling, like in “Afterward,” a block of a poem about lying, and life and hobbies: “I also lied about the therapy; I lay back on a bench instead and told my troubles to a drunk who stank of stale cider and relieved me of my cigarettes.”

For a quirky, joyous celebration of words and everyday life, Sunday at the Skin Launderette is extraordinary. A