Shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2018In this intimate and vital debut, Richard Scott creates an uncompromising portrait of love and shame against the backdrop of London’s Soho. Examining how trauma becomes a part of the language we use, Scott takes us back to our roots: childhood incidents, the violence our scars betray, forgotten forebears and histories. The hungers of sexual encounters are underscored by the risks that threaten when we give ourselves to or accept another. But the poems celebrate joy and tenderness, too, as in a sequence re-imagining the love poetry of Verlaine. The collection crescendos to the title-poem, where a night stroll under the city street lamps becomes a search for “true lineage”, a reclamation of stolen ancestors, hope for healing, and, above all, the finding of our truest selves.