She gripped lightly

with her knees, as she’d been taught. She didn’t

want wings. She wanted to fly on the thunder of hooves,

feel muscles surging beneath her. The word

in her head, matching stride – free-ee-dom,

free-ee-dom, free-ee-dom – as she bent low

over the withers, pressing her cheek

against the finial’s neck, her own hair

a mane, streaming wild in the wind.


This remarkable second collection by award-winning poet Joanna Preston charts a course for the journey from child to woman. Her bold and original voice swoops the reader from the ocean depths to the roof of the world, from nascent saints, Viking raids and fallen angels to talking cameras and an astronaut in space. Always, the human heartbeat is at stake, as Preston explores love, loss, longing and lust – how we stumble, how we soar.


tumble is a beautifully crafted collection that traverses traditional forms, the lyric and free verse. It is earthy and embodied, woven through with myth and magical realism.

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