Good Earth by Caroline Teague
2018 Pamphlet Winner
In this debut collection Caroline Teague addresses ideas of melancholy linked to striving for a sense of belonging and home. At the same time Good Earth explores reactions and reflections of grief, family and several identities that fit outside the `standard'. These poems are deeply personal explanations of feelings that travel between pain and longing to build a tender bridge of understanding and comfort between the reader and the author.
‘Good Earth brims with honesty and sweetness - the sweetness of brown sugar, and the bittersweet of reminiscing. These poems provide a captivating narrative, navigating the reader ‘through these hostile waters’ of injustice and racism (‘To Sea! To Sea!) and landing us in the delicate and unresolved territory of grief (‘January’), with the heritage of family and relationships steering the way. Throughout this journey, Caroline Teague has truly managed to 'capture something beautiful’ (‘Polaroid’), keenly observing – and celebrating – the human condition and its fleeting connections while negotiating the bitter, the salty, and the mournful. Good Earth has a poignancy and directness that will compel you to return to it again and again.’ - KEITH JARRET
Caroline Teague is a London born and bred poet writing pieces on grief, identity and how they comes to terms with some harrowing realities of being human and being alive, in a style they call `tragic optimism' hoping that the honesty through their writing can translate into something positive and comforting for someone else. Creator of the musical project "Caroline Smiling" which blends music, spoken word and illustration to creatively communicate ideas around mental health and queer identity. Caroline was the international guest at the 2018 Portugal Slam in Lisbon in October 2018 and the poet in residence at the Stanza poetry festival in St. Andrews, Scotland in March 2019, continuing to perform their work regularly at poetry and literary events across the UK. They also curate London's only regular 3-round Slam, Genesis Poetry Slam, and is an artist-in-residence at the Vauxhall-based queer cabaret night Bar Wotever.