Elisabeth Sennitt Clough’s inaugural pamphlet, Glass, is filled with poems that are detail-rich, evocative and precise. Poems that invite us into their world of dark humour, transforming their readers and revealing their deepest truths.

Editor: Ellie Danak

ISBN 978-0-9931756-4-0  •  36 pages.


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SKU: 978-0-9931756-4-0 Category:


The ‘Glass’ of the title is transformed – to the reflective surfaces of ponds, to glass collars and patio doors.  The poems explore both how we ‘see’ things, and how we are seen, from the way a stepdad looks at the women on Page 3 to the many eyes of a peacock’s tail.  Delicate yet tough, and with precise and exact language, the poet looks unflinchingly at darkness and violence.      Kim Moore

Beauty and risk partner together in this extraordinary new voice. Sennitt Clough is a skillful poet who has an ability to lure you into an often dark and unsettling world and quietly…abduct you.      Mona Arshi

When I had the good luck to meet Elisabeth Sennitt Clough at Arvon recently, I found a poet of deeply-read intensity taking on a great range of material, some very difficult, to make work of real power, managed by considerable technical expertise. The results are touching, and intellectually engaging, moving and beautiful.      Ian Duhig

Many of her poems explore the territory of the domestic, but you will not find anything benign or cosy here. Sennitt Clough makes us look at things, not always comfortable things, using language that startles and excites, and we are always left knowing a little more.     Rebecca Goss

Elisabeth Sennitt Clough’s poems carve landscapes out of language.     Nikolai Duffy

Elisabeth Sennitt Clough writes deftly, thoughtfully, and with a fine ear for sound. She is a keen people-watcher: the small details noted in her poems make them sparkle with colour and linger in the memory.     Claire Askew

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Reviews for Glass

Review of “Glass” by Elisabeth Sennitt Clough, Paper Swans Press

In this inaugural individual pamphlet from Paper Swans Press, editor Ellie Dank states that it was “love at first read” and it is, indeed, a love you will want to repeat again and again.  I could not stop reading and re-reading this astonishing pamphlet which explores a landscape I thought I knew well until Elisabeth Sennitt Clough opened my eyes, revealing a world full of mystique, both familiar and uncomfortably other at the same time

This landscape is a neglected one, deprived and ignored, a place where Fen winds blow /chests puffed out like bossy toddlers/.  Sennitt Clough transforms this flat, open, light-filled landscape into a folkloric world as deep and dark as a German forest.  It is a land of juxtapositions.  In the opening poem, “Sightings”, the peacock, a gift to the Mother, fluttered its tail/of eyes, kohled their rims in black fen soil.

Sennitt Clough’s engaging first-person narrator speaks of mothers and fathers in a voice which, at times, echoes that of Charles Simic.  The characters step straight from a new mythology, steeped in the land and its idiosyncracies and unexpected magic; here, there’s a stepfather in place of stepmother, at times benign, at others deeply unsettling.  In Green Eyed Sennitt Clough subtly enforces this feeling of otherness, taking further the idea that the Fens and the lands of Eastern Europe are somehow inextricably woven together through shared storytelling and migration.  But these poems are also grounded in the everyday, the grind of life in the Fens and the adults and children who try to find their way in a hostile world.  In “Potato Season”, a tale of migrant desperation, the narrator sums up power and class relations with the succinct I knew we were on the wrong side/of Christmas and Mum was on the wrong side/of the desk.

Sennitt Clough has a masterful command of form, tight couplets and tercets expertly contain words chosen with aptness and precision.  This is very much in evidence in “The Yard at Waterside” where dereliction and nostalgia combine to produce a haunting elegy. –The skeletons of old farm machinery/will be veiled in clusters of nettles,/a pox of rust eating through their limbs./

The fears and terrains of children and adolescents are wonderfully evoked through Sennitt Clough’s powerful imagery.  I will never forget the boy in “A Smallholding in the Fens” His room smelt of particle board and vinegar. Some nights his mum gave him cat-food for dinner./He scraped the jelly off/and said it tasted just like Fray Bentos.

This pamphlet, Sennitt Clough’s first to date, does not put a foot wrong.   Definitely a voice to watch out for; it surely cannot be too long before a full collection of her work comes out.  In the meantime, reading this left me feeling like Oliver Twist, holding my hands out and demanding “Please Miss, I want some more!”

Sue Burge, Poet and Creative Writing Tutor


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