Hannah Lowe’s The Kids – whose Costa Poetry Award win will hopefully draw in a new set of readers – gleams with contemporary sonnets that sing on the page. The conversational poems centre around Lowe’s experience of teaching at a sixth form in London and reckon with the immeasurable impact of learning.
This wry collection ends with an emotional sequence about her child, Rory, who is growing up into the glorious world ahead. The vitality of these poems is tangible.
Lowe deftly unpacks the conflicts that arise in the classroom, in revelations that can be uncomfortable. Fictionalised homages about her pupils are acutely observed, tracing the vulnerability of being at school, whether as a student or teacher. In the book’s middle section, Lowe’s role is reversed when she reflects on her own painful experiences as a young person.
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