Comic Timing | Granta

  • Published: 04/02/2021
  • ISBN: 9781783786862
  • Granta Books
  • 96 pages

Comic Timing

Holly Pester

Comic Timing, Holly Pester’s extraordinary debut collection of poems, chronicles the experience of living and working as a radical and resistant act. These poems shunt a reader between the political and personal via unique, fragmentary and illusory turns of phrase. Holly tackles marginal bodies, landlords, bog butter, desire, domestic and civic spaces in an unique and illusory voice. She chronicles the prevailing mood of our times, mining radical and anarchic histories to offer a collection of political resistance with both absurdity and seriousness.

These poems interrogate and poke fun at the expectations of people in a commodified culture with a wry humour. Combining a beautifully performed naivety with a profound intellect, this collection is a hugely original approach to a number of pressing issues. Worker’s rights, feminisms, reproductive rights and marginalised bodies and their positions are all through in this startling and innovative voice.

I love this book because it makes you dream of ancient feasts and future friends, tables of extraordinary seasons, because words become sturdy porridge become appetites become dangerous drinks of ground seeds become all of the meanings of bog butter and then all of the appetites again. And because each time I read the same poem, I've never read it before and I feel both at ease and astonished. How does she do that? With little pots of basil? And what to do with radish leaves? It is domestic. It is about the normal rituals of poverty and the politics of that coming from our sexed mouths. And besides, as Marilyn Monroe wrote, I've never seen an ugly bridge

Lisa Robertson

The Author

Holly Pester is a poet and writer. She has worked in sound art and performance, with BBC Radio, Women’s Art Library and Wellcome Collection.

More about the author →

Holly Pester on Granta.com

Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition

Best Book of 1949: The Thief’s Journal

Holly Pester

‘To read it is to feel the alternative tempo in the rude repetitions of the thief who loves to steal.’

Poetry | The Online Edition

Comic Timing

Holly Pester

‘I went to Ilford alone / was handed a pink laminated square’