Tracey Slaughter

The girls in the red house are singing

210 x 165mm
Publication date:
8 August 2024

Available for pre-order only. Available from 8th Aug 2024

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our task is to sing in this killer place – but how does the body go on singing, in pain, in isolation, in dead-end love?

Tracey Slaughter’s powerful new collection of poems begins with the sequence that won the £10,000 Manchester Poetry Prize in 2023, opioid sonatas, which travels the jagged aftermath of a high-speed crash, charting the fallout of grief and the body’s long-term struggles with dosage and damage.

The sequence psychopathology of the small hotel haunts the rooms of stale, no-exit adultery, watching the trade-offs the body makes to dull its pain.

the girls in the red house are singing tunnels back into childhood and teenage years, to face the echoes of violence left unvoiced – and confront the legacy of rape culture.

nudes, animals & ruins circles the emptied streets during lockdown, listening for the sounds the body makes when it must survive alone.

‘Haunting and harrowing, yet executed with such forceful luminous brilliance. . . . We kept reading the poems aloud, revelling in the breath-taking momentum, beautiful language, and galloping rhythmic quality. . . . Outstanding.’ —Malika Booker, Manchester Poetry Prize 2023

Tracey Slaughter is the author of Devil’s Trumpet (stories, 2021), Conventional Weapons (poems, 2019), Deleted Scenes for Lovers (stories, 2016), The Longest Drink in Town (novella, 2015), and Her Body Rises (poems and short stories, 2005). Her novella If There Is No Shelter was published in the UK by Ad Hoc in 2020. She has received numerous awards, including the 2024 Calibre Essay Prize, 2023 Manchester Poetry Prize, the 2020 Fish Short Story Prize, the 2014 Bridport Prize, and BNZ Katherine Mansfield Awards in 2004 and 2001. She won the 2015 Landfall Essay Competition, and was the recipient of the 2010 Louis Johnson New Writer’s Bursary. She teaches creative writing at the University of Waikato, and edits the journals Mayhem and Poetry NZ.

Cover design: Axel Deventer Olsthoorn

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