One Eye'd Leigh is a book of portraits, experiments and objects made of words. They find their locations between Cape Town and London, between the dawn of the new millennium and the present day. Guided by a biographical thread, in her first collection Kate Kilalea borrows the techniques of a craftsman to transform material into new shapes: an artist's concentrated gaze at the very particular subject in her portrait poems; an embroiderer's delicate craft of stitching to create a paced poetry, meticulous in detail. Her language is familiar, her forms transparent. She leads readers through a landscape in which the lucid angles of a chair might express love more precisely than the lines of a sonnet. It is the ways in which these poems turn what is familiar into something strange and new, what is stable fluid, and how out of light darkness is seen to shine, that make these poems powerful, haunting and original.
Originally from South Africa, Katharine Kilalea moved to London in 2005 to study an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. She has received an Arts Council Award for poetry, and poems have appeared (or are due to shortly appear) in books and journals including PN Review, Stand, Magma, Carapace, Pen Pusher, New Coin and a poem on chairs appeared in Martino Gamper's design book, 100 Chairs in 100 days and its 100 Ways. She lives and works as a journalist in London.