Kiran wrote... Splitfish

Splitfish, poetry book cover


We are lying on the ocean bed, one sea-mile down.
Our eyes ring with salt, full moons of breath sing up.
His circling boat darkens the sand to trace our outline,
until he slings hooks that catch her hands and tongue.
He draws her up into the boat’s wide sides, finds the bite
of the blade in her pelvis, grunting as he guts her.
One sea-mile down, I cannot be pulled up, even as
he drops her overboard, even as the water takes our weight.

Forthcoming from Gatehouse Press, September 2013. For launches click here.


Words fall from mouths as fossils; siblings return to their childhood home at the end of the world; the Minotaur’s mother addresses her son; and the ocean seeps into everything, talismanic and cleansing. Divided into four strands, Splitfish explores themes of violence, mental illness and, ultimately, recovery and renewal, without recourse to sentimentality. Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s poetry communicates the world in language that is by turns vibrant and strange, ornate and stark. Her third collection, Splitfish is the book where this emerging poet confirms herself as one of the most exciting young voices writing today. 

Tom Corbett, Editor

Urgent, unnerving, always elegant, Kiran Millwood Hargrave's poems hold the world the way the Norfolk matchbox she describes in "Cure" still holds the sea.

Helen Mort,

Kiran Millwood Hargrave's Splitfish is an intense tour of the body. The book is composed of passion and a close attention to minutiae. "The wind tidal, stacking / into our open room" she writes. It is the "stacking" - that full concentration of the balance between saying and feeling – that makes this fine book so striking.

George Szirtes,

It’s a poetry you feel and taste, embodied and emboldened by painterly detail, the precise, tactile verb. Millwood Hargrave weaves together the Imagist and the Romantic impulse with her own 21st century vision. It’s an assured, beautiful collection and a voice you’ll want to spend a lot of time with.

Luke Kennard,