With language that often reads like stream-of-consciousness but is meticulously wrought, these poems are the work of a restless and intelligent imagination. All of the big themes: belonging and exclusion, self realisation, racial politics and love in all its forms are grounded authentically in the particulars of detail. – Judy Johnson
Know Your Country is a Newcastle noir, a series of insurgent riffs set to disabuse. Shying’s discerning phrasing embodies a ‘go on your nerve’ poetics, where the local, present moment imbued with its past ‘knowing’ is offered as ballast against bogus ideas of progress, like the rubble of Haight-Ashbury dumped in Newcastle Harbour. There’s ‘a male Jessica rabbit’, PTSD, drug dealing, knives, but also sashiko stitch, caramel coffee and the anti-fame of snails.
– Keri Glastonbury
I love the sense of live presence, fit language and big personality in these poems of immersion in the ‘sticky path’ of creaturely existence. Interested and interesting – you can’t ask more than that. – Kate Lilley