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Never Try To Outswim A Bear

Published today: Never Try To Outswim A Bear

Fiona Curran’s new collection Never Try to Outswim a Bear, is published by Wrecking Ball Press today (26/10/2020).
This second collection from poet, sonic artist and filmmaker Fiona Curran is a stunning combination of dark humour, grief, nature, botany and science: Reflecting on art, love lost and found, and the poetry of place and displacement – from where she sends us knowing postcards. Within these pages, Curran captures fleeting moments and momentous events as so many impressions caught in the corner of an eye. Her work resonates with those who are alive to their own burning experiences. These poems are a curveball. Catch and propel them forward, on fire with your own thoughts.
We asked Fiona to share the books that inspired her at the time of writing this new collection.
Fiona said: “What amazed me, when Wrecking Ball asked me to come up with ten great books which had influenced me during the time of writing Never Try to Outswim a Bear, was just what has made the cut. And in fact eleven books feature, and I could quite possibly have given you 11 x 11 more!
“I think that in Carson, Thackery and Woolf, there is joy, wit and nothing short of a delicious harmony of high style with epic storytelling. A smile rarely leaves your lips when reading these books. Educated, Stasiland & Chernobyl Prayer are testaments to people maintaining their humanity, under extraordinary, unthinkable pressure.
“Cohen, Graeber and Odell write on a subject, by which, I am quite obsessed: the “culture” of work, and how our sometimes unquestioning workaholic natures (combined with new home working conditions) have imprisoned us in a capitalist labyrinth.
“The Vanishing Man is certainly one of the greatest examinations of the folly and conviction of the art collector; as well as an exquisite love letter to Velazquez.
“The Lost Pianos of Siberia is an elegy to the impact of music at ‘The End of Everything’ – a place so far away, as to be the centre of the world. It is a magnificent, almost accidental, history of the Russian people and their hungry musical embrace.”
Fiona’s selection of inspirational books is as follows:
The Autobiography of Red – Anne Carson
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
Orlando – Virgina Woolf
Educated – Tara Westover
Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall – Anna Funder
Chernobyl Prayer: Voiced from Chernobyl – Svetlana Alexievich
Not Working: Why We Have to Stop – Josh Cohen
Bullshit Jobs: A Theory – David Graeber
How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy – Jenny Odell
The Vanishing Man: In Pursuit of Velazquez – Laura Cumming
The Lost Pianos of Siberia – Sophy Roberts