“She is probably the foremost female poet (or poet tout court) currently active, in the sense of being the best, the most verbally agile, articulate and quietly spectacular. Her work recently – apart from summarizing responses to loss, ageing, the general disgraceful temporal process to which desiring bodies are subjected, the loss of desire and eternally temporary presence of absence – has seemed to point at a reconciliation with all the nasty existentialia that define our vile predicament.” – David McLean
“I feel the words of this poem down in my still-mourning bones. This is the kind of thing poetry can do: layer an eccentric beauty into the surface of sadness, while also opening a space for breath and dark wonder.” – Tim Buck
“Gillian Prew writes with images. These are not artificial or boring constructs. They have evolved organically in consciousness and exist via a deft artistic congruence of word to vision.
And she writes with images that take the reader into nature. You don’t feel that you are strangulated inside some narrow garret. You are out there, somewhere, amid textures of limb, wing, grass, and wind. The forms of nature moving in and out of her images become artistically imbued by virtue of talent and sensibilty. So these natural images are not descriptively banal, not just stage-setting props. They vibrate with the supple resonance of hidden metaphor. As such, the worlds of her poems are places that involve something faintly surreal.
Thematically, many of her poems are concerned with somber experience. Yet somehow this dark quality — because of quality — brings the reader into a kind of paradoxical light or lightness of being. In other words, there can be a form of beauty and frisson even in regions of shadow. A reader can float on the art and be enriched, not depressed.
To experience poems that are aesthetic happenings like these is a rare thing. Prew’s haunting existential lyricism is unique.”
- Tim Buck