Lessons for an Apprentice Eel Catcher
In her debut collection of poetry, Alex Toms introduces us to a troupe of curious characters to explore themes of love, womanhood and sex. At the centre of this collection is the eel catcher, a shadowy figure who lives on the fringes of everyday experience. The eel catcher weaves willow traps, and tales of folklore and magic, evoking an East Anglia inhabited by poachers, witches and ghosts. In her poems, Toms skilfully summons the uncanny, and out of it draws a slithering sense with which we are all familiar. Here are all the snares of life, and also perhaps, a spell that could set us free.
Alex Toms is a repeat winner in national poetry competitions and in 2015 was Manchester Cathedral Poet of the Year. She is widely published in magazines, journals and anthologies.