The sea turned thick as honey


So often poetry starts as a matter of poise and commitment, which Singlehurst possesses in abundance, and then it’s a matter of what you do with it; some new intimacy, a freshly dazzling way with imagery, the new honesty of the most excruciating thoughts, pure longing. The more disconcerting the subject matter of The sea turned thick as honey, the more keenly felt, the more deeply consolingly the poetry rises to meet it. A wonderful, urgent debut, as ambitious and far-reaching as it is assured.

Luke Kennard

Holly Singlehurst’s pamphlet, The sea turned thick as honey, is ravishing, intoxicating and disorientating in its originality and skill. Formed through intricate, delicate, unexpected images that melt into each other with fluidity, confidence and exuberance, I found myself bereft when I had finished reading the twenty-five brilliant poems. From the opening poem ‘Exoskeleton’ with the unforgettable line ‘Two snails were curled together, their shells nervously bumping / like teeth in a first kiss’, to ‘Love song from a seaside souvenir shop’ that finishes the book with ‘…and I’ll laugh and say, I know just what you mean’, it is completely and utterly irresistible. Read it, read it, read it.

Victoria Kennefick

Utterly corporeal and electric, Singlehurst’s poems are hymns to the body – exploring its permeability, its resonances and its many eroticisms. ‘I once pissed on my hand / just to prove I was warm’ writes Singlehurst in a characteristic moment of bravery and bravado. And yet desire here is carefully weighted with a need to expose just what it means to be absolutely present, sensory and attuned to the world. ‘I am a bowl filled with blood’ writes Singlehurst, evoking a second voice, something lucid and almost incantatory echoing away beneath the heat of these poems, offering us something truly multifarious and fiercely intelligent.

Richard Scott

In stock



The sea turned thick as honey – Holly Singlehurst

Holly Singlehurst was born in 1993. After graduating with a BA in Music and English Literature from the University of Birmingham, she went on to complete a Master’s in Creative Writing. She was commended in the National Poetry Competition in 2016 for her poem ‘Hiroshima, 1961’, shortlisted for the Bridport Prize in 2017, and recently won a Pushcart Prize for her poem ‘On Agate Beach’ (Pushcart Prize XLVI, 2022 edition). Holly lives and works in London.

You can find Holly on Twitter: @HJSinglehurst.

£6 inc P&P (UK)

ISBN 978-1-909632-12-7
Wire bound pamphlet, 36pp including cover.