The Day of the Flying Ants
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The Day of the Flying Ants

Price: £7.5

Selected by Carol Ann Duffy

for the Laureate's Choice Collection 2019 (II)


The Day of the Flying Ants is about home and leaving home. Much of this entertaining pamphlet focuses on finding, losing, and loving a sense of place. Ants fly when they’re compelled to leave home, when they’ve grown up, when there’s no place in the nest anymore. Whether in Derbyshire or Wales, these well-observed poems find their own place in an odd but familiar world.




Emily Cotterill is an exciting new voice, spiky, neo-punk in her hard-edged reminisces of her upbringing in the Midlands, from Derbyshire pubs, teenage wet kisses and nervous hands to her present anchorage in Wales. Her Alfreton idiolect and Shane Meadowsian observations sing from the pages.

– Rhian Edwards

Emily Cotterill’s voice is sharply lucid, illuminating the fairground, abandoned factories, mines, hedgerows and beaches of her native Derbyshire and adopted South Wales in technicolour. These poems are political, environmental, and unfailingly vivid; here Northern soul meets Welsh hiraeth, the unmasking of the ‘dark heart’ of mining country combined with a contemporary woman’s search for a place to settle sustainably. There is innocence and experience, familiarity and alienation, abandonment and a sense of community contained within these pages. Cotterill’s askance look at the world both moves and entertains the reader. She is one to watch.

– Emily Blewitt



More by Emily Cotterill

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