Fear of Forks
And it’s not just forks. Prize-winning poet Hilary Menos calls in whole canteens of cutlery.
That includes asparagus tongs, teaspoons with wrythen knops, a caviar shovel and a set of butter knives. Not to mention zombies, an oyster shucker, a burr grinder, a salt sabre and a brass pendulum.
But (like all poetry) Fear of Forks is really about many other things. And if the underlying threat is death in all its forms, then the antidote — proved upon the pulse of these precise and tender poems — is love.
‘Knifework’ from Fear of Forks
Watch and listen to the film-poem ‘Knifework, read by Hilary Menos.
The film starts with trainee chef Inigo Brodie sharpening his chef’s knife with a sharpening steel, then pans across the word ‘Knifework’ laid out in knives on a kitchen table.
We see the young chef chopping, slicing, dicing and mincing vegetables, practising his knife cuts for homework. Behind him, the knife rack is full of a range of different knives, the tools of his trade.
Knifework by Inigo Brodie. Film by Andy Brodie.
Hilary Menos’ first collection, Berg (Seren, 2009), won the Felix Dennis Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2010. Her second collection is Red Devon (Seren, 2013). Her first pamphlet, Extra Maths (Smith|Doorstop, 2005), was a winner in The Poetry Business International Book & Pamphlet Competition 2004/05. Her second pamphlet, Wheelbarrow Farm (Templar, 2010), was a winner in the 2010 Templar Pamphlet & Collection Awards. Her third pamphlet, Human Tissue (Smith|Doorstop, 2020) was a winner in The Poetry Business International Book & Pamphlet Competition 2019/20. Fear of Forks is her fourth pamphlet and is published by HappenStance Press.
“Menos creates small worlds packed tight, seamless, masterfully compressed. Her poems have wit, range and strength; they are contemporary, varied and highly imaginative.” — Ruth Padel
“… crackles with formal skill, with extraordinary, vibrant language … and with great style.” — Carol Ann Duffy