Friday 27 March 2020

Blog Tour ~ How to Carry Fire by Christina Thatcher

 Delighted to open this Poetry Blog Tour 

Parthian Books
1 April 2020

My thanks to Isabelle Kenyon and the publishers for my ecopy of these poems
and  the invitation to be part of the tour

How to Carry Fire was born from the ashes of family addiction. Beginning with the burning down of her childhood home, Thatcher explores how fire can both destroy and cleanse. Her work recognises embers everywhere: in farmhouses, heroin needles, poisonous salamanders. Thatcher reveals how fire is internalised and disclosed through anxiety, addiction, passion and love. Underneath and among the flames runs the American and Welsh landscapes – locations which, like fire itself, offer up experiences which mesmerise, burn and purify. This poignant second collection reminds us of how the most dangerous and volatile fires can forge us – even long after the flames have died down.

What did I think about it..

How to Carry Fire is a very interesting collection of poetry which explores the meaning of family memories and personal anxieties in a different and thought provoking way.

In turn both stark and unforgiving the idea of ritual cleansing through fire seems to be the recurring theme which cuts like a knife, and as the poet seeks to expunge personal memories which threaten at times to engulf her, so we travel through her thoughts and, at times, rather raw feelings.

Beautifully written with an expressionism which reiterates the strength of feeling and motivation, I was quite mesmerised by the poignant simplicity of some of the poems which are nicely juxtaposed alongside the strength of  the poet's personal observations.

Poetry can either comfort  or challenge, and on reflection after reading this collection, I would be inclined to place How to Carry Fire in the latter category. Daring, stimulating but also, at the same time, inspiring,  How to Carry Fire is a thought provoking collection, from start to finish.

About the Author

Shortlisted for the Bare Fiction Debut Poetry Collection Competition in 2015 and a winner in the Terry Hetherington Award for Young Writers in 2016, Christina Thatcher’s poetry and short stories have featured in over 40 publications including The London Magazine, Planet Magazine, And Other Poems, Acumen and The Interpreter’s House. Her first collection, More than you were, was published by Parthian Books in 2017.




  1. Thanks so much for this Jo and Jaffa!

    1. It was a pleasure to be involved. Thanks for the invitation, Isabelle x


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