Review of Liz Berry’s Black Country/
Black Country is the first collection from Liz Berry, a poet from the Black Country, the industrial area west of Birmingham.
Berry uses a lot of dialect and vernacular in her poems. Examples are Bostin Fittle which means great food. There is a lovely poem called Homing which is about a relative who hid or toned down her accent after elocution lessons with the striking image of her keeping her accent in a box beneath the bed. Another memorable poem is Wulfrun Hotel, which is set in the centre of Wolverhampton, as people go out to have a few drinks, “as dusk is tossed like a magician’s hanky over the city’s rooftops” and night is “that owd conjuror”.
The collection is a wonderful mix of great metaphors and Black Country dialect.
Reviewed by Frank McMahon