Lopez, Helen

Helen Lopez - Shift Perception



Available only direct from Shearsman Books.

Helen Lopez - Shift Perception

Paperback, 80pp, 8.5x5.5ins

Download a PDF sampler from this book here.

Helen Lopez is a painter and poet who lives in Anglesey. This new collection is her first book, but she has a long track-record as a painter with one-person exhibitions in England and Wales, and representation in a number of group exhibitions in Ireland, Belgium and the USA.


"Shift Perception is an arrestingly original debut. A well-known artist, Lopez clips her sharp-edged new idiom out of the drained and bankrupt languages mediating everyday life — the familiar exhausted phraseology of the soundbite, the voiceover, the consultant and the gossip-column. In the depleted, cliched materials she gathers, magpie-like, into her collage-like poetics, Lopez contests the inexorable wasting, in both senses of the word, of our language. Her caustic, critical yet intensely empathetic vision leaves you, suddenly, painfully sensitised to the things people say, and when and why they decide to say them. Comic and frightening by turns, these poems invest their borrowed, banal-seeming vocabularies with freshened moral energy; with an acute ethical intelligence. Shift Perception dares you to do precisely that — to change perceptual and linguistic gear. But you’ll find you know more about its processes than you expect. And you won’t have read anything like it before. This collection relentlessly reminds us exactly how powerful a tool language can be, in any number of different hands; I haven't read poetry as provocative or as exciting as this in a long while." —Alice Entwistle

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