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The Tall Lighthouse - November 24, 2008 - 0 Comments

Horizon & Back

Horizon & Back by Heather Taylor

Reviewed by Michelle Miller

Horizon & Back is Heather Taylor’s first full-length poetry collection, following the 2003 chapbook She Never Talks to Strangers.  Although Taylor is a native Canadian, she has been living and working in London, England since 2002 as an educator and performance poet.  It is clear from reading this collection that Taylor writes with an eye to performing, and for the most part these poems benefit from her background in spoken word and performance, giving the poems a strong visual and audio quality.  Taylor’s work is characteristically British, meaning that she uses exclusively black humour, both successfully and to a fault.  The collection itself is absolutely cohesive, which may be surprising given that it is Taylor’s first attempt at a full length book and might easily have suffered from the “grab bag” mentality of many first collections.  However, this cohesiveness serves as both strength and weakness, since her approach leaves some questions about how capable she is of exploring a diversity of emotions.