"You should flee female poets; their call
will transform you into a buck
leaping to escape the word dogs.
This is solid advice, it is true.
Beware, your brown eyes will turn bitter –
I am not just this season, not your bit of fun
because I will write poems that will petrify
your royal jelly into wax, I will
describe the growl that you make as you come.”
From the poem Averse Muse, by Ruth Stacey
Book cover illustration made for "forthcoming poetry collection by Ruth Stacey, published by V.Press Poetry. The poems focus on different themes, including the shifting perspective of famous muses thrashing against their objectification, and the desire felt for the poet’s muse which places him in the same position. The poems include various themes, including: the desire and fire-like obsession of love; witchcraft and female power; mothering and anxiety for little children in the frightening world; animal shape-shifting to represent mixed-ethnicity in the character of a fox-boy; surviving mental illness; and the layering of voices when writing memoir and biography about muses like Jane Burden, Lizzie Siddal, Jeanne Hébuterne, Angelica Garnet and Camille Claudel.
The poet and editor Jane Commane said that, “Stacey is a fearless and utterly compelling writer, whose candid, courageous poetry takes on the prevailing narrative and places women at the very epicentre."