Love is the way bark grows By Zoë Sîobhan Howarth-Lowe (Review)

Today dear readers I am reviewing Love is the way bark grows (Published By Half Moon Press) By Zoë Sîobhan Howarth-Lowe. A big thank you to the author for sending me a copy to review, always appreciated.


Love is the way bark grows

Love is the way bark grows print-ready

The poems in this collection cover great distances but there is always a sense of closeness, of being present at every point. The result is a collection of rare intimacy and honesty— poems that grow on the page, lines that dig in and route. These are assured poems, handled with great attention and skill.

Tom Weir

About The Author

Zoë Sîobhan Howarth-Lowe

Zoë is a Poet and Mum from Dukinfield with an MA in Poetry from Bath Spa University. Her first pamphlet ‘Love is the way bark grows’ came out with Half Moon Books in June 2019. Her work has appeared in Anthologies and Journals including For the Silent, Green Fields, Atrium, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Picaroon, Algebra of Owls, Magma, Bonnie’s Crew and Marble. She is currently touring the UK Spoken Word scene and has headlined at various nights including: Waffle, BLERoom, Word Club, Jackanory and Poems,Prose and Pints.

My Review

In this collection of poetry Howarth-Lowe explores a strong theme of relationships, the lust and desire combined with the reality of everyday life. Images of coiled bodies, skin on skin and passion flicker in these poems beside the grime and dirt that need to be deep cleaned. It’s honest writing and portrays the many dynamics that we all experience in relationships. 

Howarth-Lowe has a fascinating way with words. She paints charming and absorbing pictures that make you want to reach out to touch and taste, it’s bliss. I was transported away to a colourful, enticing destination in Many silk kimonos. The flashing neon lights acted as a backdrop to eat noodles and miso soup. I got caught up in the beauty with a loved one and sharing a kiss before remembering where you are as uncomfortable glances greet you. Only when you are back in the privacy of your hotel room can you hold each other freely. It was magical to read and was as close to a holiday as I am going to get given recent times. One day I will own my own kimono. 

Amongst the passion and desire there was also a sense of the lows and difficult times that a relationship can bring. In Oven I could relate to the need to clean away the grease and the gunk, imagining that each thick rind is an argument that can be easily scraped away. Nobody likes to argue but it happens and when you live with someone, you are bound to collide. I enjoyed that Howarth-Lowe showed all sides to a relationship giving it a well rounded appeal that many can relate to. 

I felt a heavy sense of sadness reading Showering and Waiting for you to come back. Howarth-Lowe talks about washing away the last of a lover however a few traces of scent linger. This imagery of being surrounded by someone constantly felt intoxicating and also suffocating as they refuse to leave you. But that’s love isn’t it dear reader? It’s maddening and confusing. In Waiting for you to come back I could feel the anticipation of wondering when and if someone will return. It’s agonising and you find yourself hoping that they will come back to the narrator. Counting the minutes, the seconds for them walk back through the front door…

I give Love is the way bark grows By Zoë Sîobhan Howarth-Lowe a Four out of Five paw rating. 

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I loved the imagery used in theses poems. Howarth-Lowe is a master at creating an atmosphere that wraps you up and gently takes you away to other worlds. There are some extremely personal, intimate moments that show the vulnerability we all have in our own relationships.  This was a enjoyable read and I highly recommend indulging over a cup of tea. 


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About Bunny's Pause

Hello, I'm a Author/Poet/Reviewer/Bookworm/Gamer/Music Lover/Wife and Mother! I review and recommend books as I LOVE to read! I am always on the lookout for new and upcoming books to expand my ever-growing library. If you have something you wish me to read and review, please contact me. I would be delighted to hear from you. Hop hop wiggle wiggle
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