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The Air Year

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  142 ratings  ·  26 reviews
The Air Year is a time of flight, transition and suspension: the shrill air as you fall through love, before crash, comedown - commitment. The poet crosses challenging threshholds, fear of commitment, of motherhood, shame and panic. 'I am proficient at beginnings,' Caroline Bird says. This book goes further and (with her characteristic energy and exuberance) risks the next ...more
Paperback, 64 pages
Published April 30th 2020 by Carcanet Press Ltd. (first published February 27th 2020)
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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Emily B
Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored this collection of poems! Modern poetry speaks to me, specially poetry this good.

I hope all her work is this standard and I hope to find out.
(4.5) I read this with a big smile on my face, delighting in how clever and playful the poems were. I’d read another of Bird’s collections earlier in the year and didn’t actually make the connection with her new one being on the Costa Award shortlist until I picked it up from the library. Dreams and miscommunication are common elements, and there are lists that grow increasingly absurd. In These Days of Prohibition had those same touches of the surreal. I particularly liked where the structure o ...more
Sep 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I finished reading this like a thirsty man given his first pint on a hot day. It's so good. It's the first Caroline Bird book I've read. It won't be the last.

There's something so clever - without being coldly intellectual - about her work. The way a poem that seems strange and odd coalesces into something so solid and beautiful. The way they look like they might be about one thing, but in the end, are about something else. Something like love.

My favourites were Mid-air; Checkout; The Ground; Ur
Paul "Axl" Hurman
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Right from the first poem I knew I was to love this book, and I did. Her best yet. Excellent.
Oliver Umney
Dec 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
some of my favourites were: ‘checkout’, ‘the girl who cried love’, ‘little children’, ‘morality play’, ‘the factory floor’. funny and touching; completely convinced me to read more poetry.
Mar 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A recently published book I have read is The Air Year by Caroline Bird. I am easing myself into reading whole poetry collections, as previously I have wrestled with this format, favouring prose. However, I nearly devoured this stunning collection in one sitting. Bird has mastered writing love poems (‘Checkout’ being one of my favourites) and surrealist poems, creating the most bizarre scenarios to say quite beautiful things.

Her voice is quite self-assured, and she uses bold imagery and specific
Jan 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Sometimes you hear a whoosh or the flutter of wings as poems fly over your head. Some way into this Forward Prize-winning collection I was still hearing nothing but where were they all going? Perhaps I had to feel my way in or take a run up to Caroline Bird's work... at any rate there was no mistaking the rich seam of delights when it came.

I especially enjoyed The Factory Floor (is it a poem, is it a short story, it certainly has a rhythm), Fancy Dress, Prepper (not the cellar full of tins kind)
Jan 24, 2021 added it
Shelves: poetry
A nice little poetry collection about love and loss and, a little bit, the end of the world. I almost wished Bird had leaned into the apocalypse elements present in some of her poems because those in particular shone through the book.

The poems flipped between the simply sincere to the more interestingly surreal. Again, I wish she had leaned into the surreality of her work more. In a lot of ways reading this was like reading two collections, one that was excellent and one I liked just fine. I gue
Mark Brooks
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Firecracker of a poetry book, sparkling, full of life, made me laugh on many occasions.Some of it obtuse like a lot of modern poetry but then I am a bit thick so that explains some of my lack of understanding.Really inventive and exciting use of language.Very enjoyable.
Zoe Leary
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Surrealist poetry at it's finest! Strange but wonderful imagery is woven together to create something extraordinary! Ultimately it is about relationships and the ability to capture that intimacy in such beautiful words is truly amazing 😍 ...more
Kimberly Ray
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Out of all the poetry books I've purchased since the Covid-19 lockdown began, the one that sticks out that gives me a pause to say "wow" after each poem, that is so brilliant, so clever, and pulls at the deep emotions is Caroline Bird's The Air Year. Such unbelievable magic in her writing. ...more
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I haven’t read a huge amount of poetry outside the classroom which I was really eager to change this year, and I couldn’t be happier that I chose to start here.


On the surface, Bird’s poetry & the ideas she explores seem quite simple as she shares views & thoughts on the ordinary and the everyday, but it’s underneath the surface that the magic truly happens.


As you read her works, you’re transported into the dark and glittering depths of human experience, and through her honest, humorous and at
Elizabeth Smith
Apr 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved these poems, fantastic imagery and use of language. Funny, insightful and at times like disappearing down a rabbit hole.
Matthew Shur
Dec 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Love this.
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Loved this book. Full of Caroline Bird signature blend of humour and poignancy. One of our most imaginative poets, and one of her best books yet
Flingornas herre
Jan 02, 2021 rated it liked it
Kul ibland
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, romance
Daft, romantic, charming.
i. love. caroline. bird.
Simon Williams
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First Caroline Bird and I am hooked.
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
10 stars. Really fantastic!
Paul Roberts
Nov 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Glad I found this

Would have missed out, had I not chanced upon Rookie. Love every line of this collection. Mind blown by this book.
Mark Ward
Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 really
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
stunning, amazing
Feb 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, fun rhythms. Wonderful reintroduction to poetry.
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brimming with profound wit and imagination.
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This is a book I will keep coming back to. I have read it three times now and like it more with each reading. The poems have such tremendous energy and vivacity. They don't take themselves too seriously but they are deep and profound. They touch something inside me that's not always comfortable but is very real. ...more
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Sep 04, 2020
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rated it it was amazing
Dec 08, 2020
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Mar 02, 2021
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Caroline Bird was born in 1986 and grew up in Leeds before moving to London in 2001.

Caroline had been shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize twice in 2008 and 2010 and was the youngest writer on the list both times. She was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 2014. She has also won an Eric Gregory Award (2002) and the Foyle Young Poet of the Year award two years running (1999, 2000), an

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