Silver Samovar is Jenny McRobert’s debut collection. Loving, loss and survival are the themes that bind this collection together. At its heart is the journey back into her family’s flight from persecution and the pogroms of early 20th century Russia.
‘I loved this collection. Whether writing gentle and delicately beautiful nature poems, poems about childhood evoking a lost world of winceyette and Bakelite, or handling the pain and cruelty of antisemitism, this poet writes with honesty, a light touch and a sense of humour.‘
‘There is a poetic pulse that carries us through the celebrations and betrayals of youth, as well as the frailties of later life. In poems written with the lightest of touches, but with the gravitas of truth, the book coheres around its centrepiece, the long poem, ‘A Place called Golgotha’, in which the poet’s search for connection, her anthem to heritage and belonging, triumphantly finds its voice.’
‘Silver Samovar’ is a brilliant debut collection, full of poems which celebrate life while keeping one eye on the clock. Whether she’s writing about hurtling downhill on a toboggan made out of an old washboard, or her kitchen “with its pile of dishes squabbling in the sink,” or a field of rapeseed “like a Van Gogh has muscled in on a Constable,” Jenny McRobert’s gaze is clear-eyed, sharp-witted, and full of tenderness.’
Kathryn Bevis (Hampshire Poet Laureate 2020-2021)