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Released 28th February 2022 // 38 pages // 978-1-915079-08-4


Fiona Larkin's Vital Capacity explores the centrality of breath, and the emotional devastation caused when it is disrupted by disease. At its core it examines the myths and stigmas surrounding tuberculosis, the shame attached to acknowledging a disease of poverty, the political question of who can access medical treatment, and more broadly the functioning of lungs and the multiple interpretations of breath. A lyrical, disquieting, and deeply moving collection, Vital Capacity is not just a collection of poems it is a way of looking at the world through the fragile filter of the lung.


PRAISE for Vital Capacity:


Fiona Larkin is a poet of close attention. In Vital Capacity she contemplates breath in all its variations, and examines the hidden trauma of tuberculosis, finding new ways to re-imagine the body - a chest is ‘tight as the coat of a bud,’ an exhaled breath hardens to ‘a blown-glass prayer.’  Her poems move gracefully between forms as she presents the personal and collective legacy of TB with empathy and imagination. 
   — Kathryn Simmonds, The Visitations


Powerful, inventive and immersive, Vital Capacity showcases Fiona Larkin’s talent for making the most resistant materials shine, in a voice that is always compelling, compassionate and real. This is a perfectly poised collection which stays the course and maintains focus even when most of us would look away. Frequently heartbreaking in its combination of our silences and elisions with the kind of radical candour only poetry really gives us.
   — Luke Kennard, Notes on the Sonnets


Larkin explores our relationship to disease, the body and our very essence. Her poems are absorbing and lyrically present. In this current climate Larkin’s Vital Capacity creates a new myth and metaphor for our need to keep breathing.
   — Jessica Mookherjee, The Tigress

Fiona Larkin - Vital Capacity


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