The poetry of Kathryn Gray captures the voice of one of those rare, capacious writers for whom the entire detritus of modern life is colorful grist for the lively mill of her imagination. She conjures up what might have been in the grim streets of her Swansea adolescence: "You could almost see them down the backstreets/as it bucketed on a Saturday night, the purr/of a Vespa, his right foot pressed to the curb/as he leans over, calls to a girl." In "The Italians in the Rain," the muse arrives like a joyrider speeding through a rundown estate. Her narratives are full of characters--girlfriends, lovers, victims, strays, the strangely famous (Ruskin and Maria Callas), and often "you."
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