At the heart of Claire Orchard’s first poetry collection is Charles Darwin, during the intense period in which he was working on his controversial theory of evolution, On the Origin of Species. His world as traced in his notebooks and letters – his daily habits, his relationships, his health – is drawn out in full imaginative colour and echoed in unexpected ways in the poet’s own world 200 years later.
We also find here depictions of childhood, parenthood, odd characters and split-second decisions. This witty, compassionate book speaks of the beauty and strangeness of all living things, including, and perhaps especially, humankind.
Cover: Birds and Butterfly, Childrens' drawings on verso of Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species leaves (1858). Reproduced courtesy of Cambridge University Library, England.