Carol Ann Duffy, Daily Mirror
Her excellent pamphlet, The Cast-Iron Shore, Erbacce Press, Liverpool, does indeed have a painterly quality.
Carol Thistlethwaite, Carillon Magazine
I love her precise use of words and placement to produce maximum effect. Her words often operate on more than one level. When you're as good as this you don't need classical references and difficult vocabulary to proclaim your worth. This is accessible brilliance.
Ian Griffiths, Twelve Rivers Magazine
Hard-hitting poems which make you question the insincerity and duplicity of politics. Many fine and powerful poems for you here.
Andy Croft, Morning Star
A clever and subtle series of meditations on politics, language and silence. Someone should give Pat Jourdan a full Collection.
Emma Lee, The Journal
he politicisation of the narrator started early, in "Rumour" the toddler knows something has happened....That's the strength of these poems: they are not rants that leave readers powerless but show how to connect and engage. Warmly recommended.
Determination to find fresh uses for language, not ordinary description.
Kevin Higgins, The Burning Bush / www.kevinhiggins.net
What never ceases to amaze me is how fresh her writing remains. She is a poet whose work should be far more widely read than it is. Pat Jourdan's work is more about ambivalence than it is about any sort of moral certainty. "I believe. I don't believe.That's why I'm here" ...While this may not exactly add up to a coherent world view - it's certainly not the worst instinct to have.
Sunset, Sea Road : the most individual lines that could stand up and walk by themselves.
Will attract many comments: a sparkling postcard from the promised land, delicately poised between the routine and the familiar ('coffee shop') and the epiphanic, the visual and the sensational.
The poem too is 'beaten gold'. The quote 'promised us as children/is here underfoot' ...travels backwards and forwards before it stays and settles beautifully.
Rita Ann Higgins
Pat Jourdan embraces a wider social scoop. Her characters ramble off to annoy the equal opportunities board. She mingles with 'the friends of Icarus who fell off centre' and in her poem 'Mayakovsky Roams Knocknacarra' she tells us that 'landgrab machines mulch and overturn'.
Jourdan's acerbic, satiric, powerful protests.
Pat Jourdan makes poems that engage with politics both with a large and a small 'p' and describes the all too familiar sense of feeling what one poem calls 'Torn between the poem and the real'.
Highly visual poet... pared-down poems are her best, unless that is, she goes to the other extreme : 'Dislocation' is a welter of description down the page - "mistress of the sugar-dredger/ the butter-roll scoop, sugar-cube tongs/the cakestand".
This book is a joy to see, handle and read. Pat Jourdan should be recognised as one of the leading writers on the strengths of this volume alone. She has an exquisite sensibility and a rare quality of empathic resonance. Jourdan has an absolute way with words - she conveys her own feelings with an immediacy which resonates with her adopted Irishness, in the best sense of the word. Jourdan describes her life with a stunning suddenness..a painter as well as a poet .. the best cover for the best book I've seen in a long time.
From the poet's own painting on the cover to the worlds she creates with words, Turpentine paints pictures. Relevant focussed images and sensual detail draw the reader in. Because these poems are so well honed it is difficult to choose an extract but here is one from "Divorce"
Ready for official moments
already a compressed autumn in its changing,
the gold ring blackened
like the inside of a teapot,
turns to something that old ladies keep..