‘The actual things of the world are everywhere in Claire Dyer’s Yield – thick socks, Glenfiddich, bathrobes, Swarfega, Swedish Meatball Wraps – and in the spaces between move families, friends, lovers, their interrelations astutely picked out as the unsaid is made solid. But such rooted settings don’t prevent flight. Any poet who can end a poem with the lines “the bones in its spine small white discs of” or “Fuck the gob-lin. Rock it” has earned the right to our attention.’ ~ Matthew Caley
‘There is so much that is uncompromising in Claire Dyer’s poems: the cruel precision of each word, line and image, and the sharply perfect intelligence of every metaphor and conceit. And yet Yield is a warm embrace of a book. A chronicle of love, generosity and ethics, Yield is a restorative piece of writing – a solace.’ ~ Kathryn Maris
‘This is a moving and memorable chronicle of coming to terms with and, finally, celebrating what is, after all, a magical sea change, an astonishing transformation of a child’s identity, an unravelling and remaking, with the over-arching unity of the narrative provided by a mother’s love: ‘Our love is unconditional.’ Although the overt and specific subject matter is gender transition, these exquisite poems also speak to any challenge to parental love. They speak of the need to find unconditional love, acceptance and surrender, of the difficult yielding to what life brings which we must all attempt.’ ~ Rosie Jackson, in The High Window
‘this painful, beautiful book’ ~ Louisa Campbell
‘In this collection… Dyer reveals great observations of a crucial moment in her life that touched her profoundly and challenged all her certainties… her observations propose a restoration and renewal that relieved her of her grief and pain. Her experience is described in skilful and honest lines that recall the process of reaffirming the progression of love and family ties.’ ~ Carla Scarano, for London Grip
Three definitions of the word Yield give meaning to the odyssey undergone in Claire Dyer’s third collection: a journey which sees a son become a daughter, and a mother a poet for both of them. Charting these transitions, the poems take us through territories known and familiar – landscapes of childhood, family and home – into further regions where inner lives alter, outer ones are reimagined.
Whether evoking clinic visits, throwing away old boyhood clothes, grieving over what’s lost, these honest and unashamed poems build to celebrate that place at the heart of motherhood where gender is no differentiator and love the gain.
Claire has her child’s permission to refer to her by her old name, gender, status and pronoun where appropriate.
Claire Dyer. Paperback, 210 x 135 mm, 80 pages, February 2021