Reviews of ‘What is near’

Seasonal greetings! Just to let you know that I have had some encouraging reviews of my latest collection What is near – by Paul Matthews in Tears in the Fence, Autumn 2022, for example:

‘Many a poetry book has been inspired by the beauty of nature, or its destruction. The writer of this one ‘trembles at its magnitude’. […] Readers often use the word ‘exquisite’ to characterise [Kay’s] poetry. ‘To carefully seek out’ is the root of it. She labours beyond personal sentiment and sweetness to hone her senses, to en-soul them and ‘see’ (as Wordsworth did) ‘into the life of things’.

Sometimes she draws a plant, or assumes various attitudes – standing, sitting, kneeling, lying down – attempting to reach closer. Or slips into its gestures, as in ‘mourning the wild glory’ […] Other poems elaborate on this – the moss feels green to her touch. It ‘is thinking, making signs.’ As she feels its in-side lifting to her cupped hand she interprets its signature:

I do not know what my fingers register / in their own language / so I call the sensations ah tickle brush

And on The Friday Poem website, Carl Tomlinson writes

‘Poems like ‘long denial’ and ‘non-attachment theory’ hold the line. They are stiff with exacting virtuosity. The forms of the poems in the ’t/here’ section have tidal rhythm and form which suit their theme of migration. Our fragmented and destructive relationship with the land is captured in the scattered words of the poem ‘now we hardly ever’. It’s this concentrated unflinching enquiry into, and experimentation with, the act of description that allows Syrad to say, in ‘meanwhile   I barely know what grass is’ 

                I study    trace    photograph
join an observation group  note habitat
mythology  symbol  yet still I barely know

what grass is

— and allows the reader to believe her.’

See, too, my publications from my collaborations with Clare Whistler – kin’d & kin’d – for example, our eco-poetry source book, Wild Correspondings, h/edge and Think Thing – all at

Bloomings and flourishings to you.