'All of my best lines are accidents', Chris Price writes in this book, and proceeds to prove that she has the knack of putting herself in harm's way and the skill to build from there.
Beside Herself plays with character, and with language, and with the way the one works on the other. Pronouns and personae shift and dance in this book in the same way that meanings do - 'After the expected, the unexpected. / After the unexpected, the formal handrail / and the overflow.'
Price has always been attentive to the unlooked-for delights of language - she is a master of the riddling word-play poem - and uses this play in the service of something larger, an exploration of character and persona and perspective: 'I am every character - every, every character'. These characters appear from a variety of times, places and fictions, from contemporary Wellington to medieval England.
A selection of beautifully crafted, riddling poems of persons and personae, truths and falsehoods, frank identities and masked selves, Beside Herself is a playful triumph.
'I'm compelled by Chris Price s technical finesse, her wit, the way she takes on and takes in so much from such diverse places, and threads it to something so splendidly her own: a descant on Modernism that is up to its massive subject a big, original, flaring celebration.' - Vincent O'Sullivan
'Chris Price s sumptuous new poetry collection, The Blind Singer, stands as a seductive plea to open our senses to the world in different ways .' --Paula Green
'This ability to pull together multiple strands of cultural, intellectual, personal and interpersonal life into an accessible and musical poetic utterance is undoubtedly Price's strength as a poet, and it is epitomised by the major sequence that ends the volume, 'The Angel Question: An Essay'. This philosophical poem constitutes an important statement about the debate between poetry and science in the twenty-first century. Keats's beauty and truth argument is intertwined with the circus, Rilke's angels, Charlie Chaplin, Einstein and more besides in a deeply compelling and serious finale to a volume that is full of gravitas.' --Helen May Dennis, Warwick Review
Chris Price is based in Wellington, where she teaches the poetry MA at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University. Her first collection of poems, Husk, won the 2002 NZSA Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry and her next book, the genre-busting Brief Lives, was shortlisted in the biography category in the 2007 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.