Poetry Book Launch: Fish Eaters
  • Charles Seale-Hayne Library, Plymouth University

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Fish Eaters is a beautifully illustrated book of poems inspired by the seas and oceans around the globe. 

Written by Caroline Carver, the Poet in Residence at Plymouth University’s Marine Institute, the poems are not over-literary in form, and are accessible to people who do not normally read poetry. A cohesive thread runs through the collection, linking each piece together in the order they are placed within the book.

Fish Eaters is the result of a year’s work and is being launched on Friday 4 December in an open event in the University Library from 12pm – 4pm. Caroline will be signing copies between 1pm – 3pm, which are available for purchase for the special discounted price of £5. 

The book will be available after the launch via the University eStore at its usual retail price of £12.99.

About the book

Caroline’s gift of conveying serious meaning in a light-hearted way shines through in her most recent collection, as the poems reflect the preciousness of marine life, the urgency of environmental concerns, and the dangers to threatened species. A particular challenge in the writing of these poems was to reflect on scientific matters without letting a poem become a piece of prose or without going into too much technical detail. 

Caroline alludes to the James Lovelock concept of Gaia, an example of her light-hearted look at a deadly serious subject, the behaviour of the jet stream and its effects on climate change. Another example of a particular piece of knowledge comes with the poem Pole of Inaccessibility. Although Caroline gathered the material for this poem within the Marine Institute, she was able to add the Coca-Cola can that was found under the North Pole, having met the Canadian explorer who was the first person to dive there. 

The final poems featured within the collection reflect on humanity’s place within the environment, and the inescapable fact that we ourselves are composed mainly of water:

"Breaching the space between the seen and unseen, going under what Melville called the ocean’s skin, Caroline Carver places herself at the edge of the unknown sea and prints us back into its memory, gloriously." Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan, or The Whale and The Sea Inside

About the author

Caroline Carver grew up in England, Bermuda and Jamaica, and finished her education in Switzerland and France. She lived in Canada for 30 years before returning to England, where she lives with her husband beside the sea in Cornwall. 

She has won the National Poetry Competition, has won and been placed in many other competitions, and her work has been translated into different languages such as Romanian, Italian and French. She has also given many readings, both in the UK and overseas. Caroline is a Hawthornden Fellow, and has been Poet in Residence with the Marine Institute at Plymouth University since early 2013. 

Fish Eaters is her fifth collection; her sixth is in progress. 

News release: New poetry turns science of water into words (4 December 2015)

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