Clueless Dogs is the first collection of poetry by Rhian Edwards. Already a noted performer of both her songs and poetry, this book confirms her startling talent.
Poems like ?The Welshman Who Couldn?t Sing? chronicle a fraught childhood in Bridgend, south Wales, where the sensitive child escapes through imaginative games of ?Playing Dead? and ?Broken Lifeboat?. Full of verve and humour, with a spiky syntax featuring hard-edged consonants, her language has a winning honesty and intensity. Later poems chronicle teenage lusts, student rivalries, damaged peers and tense situations. Although the author doesn?t flinch from ruthless depictions in which we are often implicated by her use of the second person ?You?, there is an underlying sweetness, an elegiac thread most evident in the poems of maturity, like ?Back to Bed? ,?Safe? ,?The Wrong Season? full of both the sensual rapture of love and a clear-eyed realization of its inevitable disappointments. Witness the poet in performance and it is impossible not to hear her distinctive tones when reading her work. Clueless Dogs is a brave and beautiful first book.
Although her poems are accessible ? and I would strongly recommend them to anyone who thinks they don?t like poetry ? and supremely crafted they are also inhabited by something far rarer, an unerring ability to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. ? Time Out Magazine
?The Unique voice lies in the music of the language, a distinctly un-English sound, often in a minor key, elegiac but with unexpected leaps of the imagination. Against a Celtic bass-line, she sets her own modern turn of phrase and sense of humour? ? Hugo Williams
?Rhian Edwards makes the language sing and dance. Join her campaign for the liberation of poetry from all that is dry, stuffy, insincere and boring?? ? Christopher Reid
?She is a dazzling performer, at ease with the language, sometimes slangy, sometimes lyrical, with undertones of South Welsh speech. Her warmth and humour will make her a popular reader ? Gillian Clarke
A video of Rhian Edwards performing one of her poems ‘Tiptoe’ at a venue in New York City
Video Source: ”Somewhere in the Dark’ directed by Mads Jeppesen.