fbpx
Sale!
talk to me about when we were perfect
(2 customer reviews)

£3.00

Talk to me about when we were perfect is Amanda Huggins’ first full-length poetry collection. Her chapbook, The Collective Nouns for Birds, won a Saboteur Award in 2020.

Talk to me is a collection of snapshots, a life unfolding in flashbacks, imbued with a bittersweet yearning for the places to which we can never return and the people we have left behind.

“This is a dazzling collection of poems full of light and compassion that stay with the reader long after the last page is read.” Leo Boix, author of Ballad of a Happy Immigrant

 

Description

Talk to me about when we were perfect is a collection of snapshots, a life unfolding in flashbacks, imbued with a bittersweet yearning for the places to which we can never return and the people we have left behind. These sharply observational poems traverse life’s external and internal landscapes in vivid detail, revisiting childhood memories, exploring the joys and regrets of teenage and adult love, contemplating the nature of grief and the vagaries of the human heart. They cast a questioning eye over past misunderstandings, roads not taken, and undeclared love.

Praise for talk to me about when we were perfect:

“This is a dazzling collection of poems full of light and compassion that stay with the reader long after the last page is read.” Leo Boix, author of Ballad of a Happy Immigrant

“Huggins has a particular gift for highlighting the special moments in everyday life. Even in poems of longing and sadness, there is a tenderness there that will make you smile. There is a delicate interweaving of both the sorrows and the beauty of life, which feels like a celebration of what is.” Bethany Rivers, author of Fountain of Creativity and the sea refuses no river

“It’s magical.” Ralph Dartford, author of Hidden Music

“With words from the opening poem ‘…she remembers the soft beat/of that transcendent hour…’ Amanda Huggins sets the scene for a collection that is more than memoir, evoking exquisite detail, often heartrending. Here is a fresh look at the super-charged times of adolescence and early adulthood with a collection of poems that are laid open and full of tenderness, a recognition of a time when many of us had our ‘eyes half-closed with want/of something we didn’t understand.’ (p 3).

Though the author puts her own life under scrutiny, most readers will find points of recognition. The poems are full of surprises both of sadness and of beauty but always thoroughly endearing. Above all, it is an unpretentious collection of poems, where the author puts herself ‘in…full beam,/a skittish hare…’(p29) but there is always a sense that whatever the past reveals there is forgiveness. A thoroughly lovely collection.” Alison Lock, author of Lure

“Sometimes the only honest reaction to a poem is I so wish I had written that. For me, ‘egg’ is that poem.
True poetry happens when a clever idea, emotional truth, and a clear and original route through the material are presented in immaculately crafted sentences and stanzas.  This is achieved in talk to me about when we were perfect. Alison Chisholm, author of Crafting Poetry and Echoes in Cloud

“The writers I love the most really capture how it feels to be human; Huggins is one of them. If you think poetry isn’t for you, try reading this collection. Read slowly; read aloud to feel the words. Huggins proves that she is a writer with great emotional understanding and the technique to express it; her work is deep, beautiful and truthful, free from pretension.” Hannah Retallick, author and prize-winning short story writer

“This poetry sparkles. I love the reflective quality which enabled me to re-experience the confusion or joy and spontaneity of youth. There are some absolute crackers including ‘out chasing boys’ which nails those heady days and ‘dizzy with it’ which captures the exuberance of the time. I highly recommend talk to me about when we were perfect. Treat yourself to a copy.” Gail Aldwin, author of The String Games and This Much Huxley Knows

Additional information

Weight200 g
Dimensions13 × 3 × 19 cm

The Author

Amanda Huggins is the author of the novellas All Our Squandered Beauty
and Crossing the Lines, as well as four collections of short stories and a poetry chapbook. Her fiction and travel writing have been widely published in national newspapers, magazines and journals, and three of her short stories have been broadcast on BBC radio. She has won numerous awards, including three Saboteur Awards for poetry and fiction, the Colm Toibin International Short Story Award, the H E Bates Short Story Prize and the British Guild of Travel Writers New Travel Writer of the Year Award. She was also a runner-up in the Costa Short Story Award and the Fish Short Story Prize, and has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, The Alpine Fellowship Award and many others. Amanda lives in Yorkshire and is an editor and publishing assistant.

2 reviews for talk to me about when we were perfect

  1. Sarah Linley

    talk to me about when we were perfect is a stunning collection of poems which transports the reader from Yorkshire to London and further afield to Japan.
    I particularly enjoyed the nostalgic poems in which Huggins takes us back to her teenage years, encapsulating the awkwardness of meeting boys, making plans for the future, sporting the latest fashion trends, and the flush of first love.
    There is a wry humour to reuniting with ‘Chris Clarke-with-an-e’ at a wedding and a poignant sadness to ‘a ribbon of red’.
    As always, it’s the tiny details which Huggins makes the most of – dappled sunlight, the memories evoked from violet creams, the taste of warm beer on lips – turning everyday experiences into moments of poetry.

  2. Tracy Fells

    Talk to me about when we were perfect is a collection of poetry from the multi-talented Amanda Huggins, who seems equally skilled in writing prose, poetry and non-fiction and any new work from this author is something to get excited about.
    I relished every single poem in this new collection, looking forward to my daily immersion into Huggins memories and flashbacks to youth. At times these perfect snapshots felt like personal Polaroids, capturing specific moods and moments of adolescence from the author’s life, but also reflect how we all feel when searching to recapture the ache and ecstasy of what it really felt to be young. Her prose is sharp and bittersweet, vivid and visual, often capturing images with a breathless beauty that instantly transports to you a specific place and time that chimes with an experience you share. That’s why her poems are so accessible, they recreate emotions we’ve all known, the good the bad and the shameful. What it feels like to ‘have a crush’ on the older lads hanging round the fairground or outside the chippie. Foolish flirting and falling for the flash talk of strangers. Each is unique, charting the travels of the human heart from first crush to undying devotion and ultimately the pain of separation and ending. Just like the meandering complexity of memories they skip between childhood and becoming an adult, balancing the highs and lows, the joy and pain, of growing up and what it means to leave parts of us behind. I particularly love how Huggins weaves nature into these poems, reminding us that we share this beautiful world with so much more than each other.

    It’s a rare talent that can create lines such as: “The morning is still holding its breath when I step out across the hotel lawn, and a breakfast party of startled crows complain, all tut and flap and mutter.” (the man in room seven), giving us poems that instantly paint a scene and can easily be enjoyed by everyone, and are truly delicious to read aloud.

    I’ve read a number of collections recently which start with promise but soon feel repetitive and stuck in their themes, but each poem in ‘Talk to me about when we were perfect’ was distinct and memorable, I couldn’t wait to read another, then another. And I can’t wait to read it again. For me this is a collection to keep and cherish.

    If you enjoy these poems then I highly recommend you check out Huggins’ novellas and story collections too. Her ability to capture mood, setting and emotion shines throughout everything she writes.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© Victorina Press Ltd. Wanfield Hall, Woodcock Heath, Kingstone, Uttoxeter, ST14 8QR