Pearl and Bone

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Pub Date 03 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 22 Dec 2022

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Description

Pearl and Bone explores the complexities of the first year in the life of a pandemic mother, with the stories of other mothers interwoven amongst the author’ s intimate moments, from pregnancy to childbirth and beyond. These poems showcase the lost voices of women through history – in the throes of labour, Mary paces the stable; in a dim Soho studio, Christine Keeler poses for the infamous Lewis Morley photographs; while above us, the moon laments the number of feet that have stormed her surface. Beautiful, emotional and richly imagistic, Mari Ellis Dunning presents mothers in many forms: those experienced, chosen, unwitting, and presumed, asking us to consider the true nuances of motherhood – delicate as pearl, durable as bone.
Pearl and Bone explores the complexities of the first year in the life of a pandemic mother, with the stories of other mothers interwoven amongst the author’ s intimate moments, from...

A Note From the Publisher

Mari Ellis Dunning’s first poetry collection Salacia was shortlisted for the Wales Book of the Year Award, and was followed by The Wrong Side of the Looking Glass, a pamphlet of dramatic monologues written in collaboration with Natalie Ann Holborow. She won the Terry Hetherington Young Writers Award and placed second in both the Lucent Dreaming Short Story Competition and the Sylvia Plath Poetry Prize. A PhD candidate at Aberystwyth University working on a historical novel exploring accusations of witchcraft and fertility, Dunning also teaches creative writing part time. She lives on the west coast of Wales, in Llanon, with her husband, their two sons and their dog.
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Mari Ellis Dunning’s first poetry collection Salacia was shortlisted for the Wales Book of the Year Award, and was followed by The Wrong Side of the Looking Glass, a pamphlet of dramatic monologues...


Advance Praise

Praise for Pearl and Bone:

‘In this profound study of the maternal journey, Mari Ellis Dunning does not attempt to speak for all mothers, but she can speak up for the many that become “pale and bloodless ghosts”. These essential, visceral poems ensure we pay attention to the fear, risk and shame that accompanies the female pregnant body, whilst weaving a picture of the truthful, tender reckonings that are the poet’s own.’– Rebecca Goss


‘Dunning has a real talent for taking huge issues and using poetry to shine light on them in new and creative ways. The progressive world we deserve, and can sometimes convince ourselves we live in, will only be reached by addressing some difficult home truths. Pearl and Bone is a beautiful and creative step towards that.’ – Liam Nolan, Gwales.com


‘This is a brave, complex, powerful, angry, and loving book, full of poems that argue, discuss, share, and reject the abuse of power that women and children are constant victims of. [...] It is a model example of issues-based poetry, where argument is not reduced to sloganeering, preaching or demands, a concerned and original voice in the current debate about sexuality and gender.’  Mslexia

Dunning’s versatility of voice and poetic empathy is incredibly broad in scope – as is her enduring conviction in the strength of women to fight back against those that would oppress them. Pearl and Bone is quiet in its fury and resilient in its hope, even in the face of political upheaval. Dunning’s poems reinterpret the struggles of the past for a turbulent present; there is no doubt that her work will chart the shape of the future, too.’ – Isobel Roach, Wales Arts Review

– Rupert Loydell, Tears in the Fence ‘These poems don’t shy away from hard facts. These are scenes from a horror movie. These are scenes from the 1950s. These are scenes from the world we’re living in right now. These polyphonous poems are voices at a protest march, strong in their oneness, furiously, exhaustedly casting their spells and blessings.

‘It is a celebration of the triumphs and strengths of women as well as sharing their vulnerabilities and sensitivities.’  

– Maddy Templeman, The Broken Spine ‘A captivating collection of poetry which flows between moments of tenderness and harrowing rawness.’  

– Billie Ingram-Sofokleous, Buzz Magazine ‘Her poems are full of fragility and vulnerability, but also strength and celebration, evoking the strange miracles of pregnancy and birth.’  

– Rachel Carney, Created to Read Praise for Salacia: ‘These poems are visceral, inventive, with every riff packed to the brim with awe.’ – Rhian Edwards ‘Salacia coaxes sublimity from pain, reminding us that though we may be hurt, we can still be powerful.’ – Zoë Brigley ‘Mari Ellis Dunning writes with honesty about mental disorder and the intricacies of depression, but her poetry is charged by the body and the senses.’ – Anna Lewis

Praise for Pearl and Bone:

‘In this profound study of the maternal journey, Mari Ellis Dunning does not attempt to speak for all mothers, but she can speak up for the many that become “pale and...


Marketing Plan

Extensive social media promotion.

A book club order to libraries from the Borzello Trust


Extensive social media promotion.

A book club order to libraries from the Borzello Trust



Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781913640729
PRICE $11.99 (USD)
PAGES 88

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