My second full-length poetry collection Be[yond] was published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, July 2013, ISBN 978-1-909-44321-1.

Some blurb: Love & lust, betrayal & endurance, disturbance & peace, life & loss, nature & modern society, language & what lies in the shadows between lines all feature in Sarah’s latest work.

Following on from her prize-winning first collection, Be[yond] combines Sarah’s characteristic crafting and eye for detail, imagery and metaphor with a new, more probing, approach to language and poetics.

The three sections of this collection – Against Air and Water, Through the Ether and From Earth and Fire – guide readers past the beaches of Birmingham, through meditations on water, a dreamworld strangeness, mezzanine memories of France, defamiliarised cityscapes and gorse wildlands to the edges of everyday life, love and language.

In the words of other poets:

“Moving on from her very successful first collection, Sarah James shows that she is not afraid to take risks. Experimenting almost scientifically with form and language, ‘Be [yond] ‘ is innovative and adventurous and at the same time accessible and enjoyable.” – Jacqui Rowe

“An inventive voice emerging out of the entwined interstices of the domestic and the relational: precisely observed, embodied, thick with language.” – Scott Thurston

Reviewed in the North 52, spring 2014, by artist Lauren Schneider, who has worked as a gallery manager and Arts Award advisor:

“Sarah James’s work is innovative and still accessible. She clearly has a keen ear for sounds and rhythms combined with an appreciation of language and the construction of words. Be[yond] is a rewarding read.” – Emma Lee, from her review in The Journal #41, Jan 2014

From a review by Ruth Stacey in October 2014: “My favorite part of the book is the first section. The poems all focus on water and have a cool, almost scientific atmosphere that belies the waves of emotion crashing within each poem. Each poem has a wonderful quality I would describe as without/within. The narrator seems to stand outside the poem calmly describing each carefully constructed image and idea and then with a whoosh the emotion brings the reader inside, within the heart of the poem almost with a sharp slap of cold water.”

Micro-reviewed by Sarah Westcott on her blog The Literary Loper:

“Sarah James’ collection Be[yond] (knives forks and spoons press) is unlike anything I have read. Loosened from the ties of traditional syntax, James’ confident compositions are unafraid to sing into silences on the page and holler into the philosophical ‘void’ with many possibilities simultaneously held at once. There is also much sound and sense play, and a glee in experimentation with language.
I enjoyed the freedom of this book and the sense of a mind pushing at the limits, but remaining accessible, indeed bidding the reader to come along too.”

Reviewed by Robin Houghton on her blog ukpoetgal:

“Sarah James’s background in Linguistics makes for exceptional poetry. The rhythm is beautifully handled at a phonological level, and the imagery is striking. Here, though, the imagery is not just an adornment, it is drawn from various semiotic systems to convey hidden meaning, as if each poem were a text version on Sir Thomas Tresham’s Triangular Lodge.” – Alec Newman, Knives, Forks and Spoons Press editor

Be[yond] can be purchased from Knives, Forks and Spoons Press or using the paypal link below.

Be[yond] with postage

Three poems from the three very different sections of the collection: Un(Synchronised)(from ‘Against Air and Water’)From Archaeological Digs(from ‘Through the Ether’)Unfoldings(from ‘From Earth and Fire’).

A short videotrailer featuring some ‘snippet’ lines from the collection can be viewed below. Enjoy!

Anna McKerrow interviews Sarah James for London’s arts radio Resonance104.4fm. Recorded by Peter McKerrow.

“Poet, short story writer and poetry editor at V Press Sarah James talks to Anna McKerrow about her second poetry collection, Be[yond] (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press), a book in three sections which treads the boundaries between “experimental” and “contemporary” poetry. ”

Videopoem versions of several individual poems from the collection may be enjoyed on a Be[yond] youtube playlist and audio versions can be found on soundcloud.