Review: Skip Diving reviewed by Kevin Higgins for The Galway Advertiser (2nd October, 2014)
…another second collection is Celeste Augé’s Skip Diving
, published by Salmon. She writes passionately and only on things she really cares about. There is a glorious economy to the language; Augé is not one to fatten out a poem with adjectives. Most striking in this regard is the perfect five line 'Insomnia':
"I have come to like the hours/spent awake in bed,/the house silent,/everyone else put safely away,/ like clean dishes."
Augé’s approach in some of her feminist poems challenges pre-conceptions. David Wheatley has opined that the work of Eavan Boland, probably our premier female poet, suffers from an "absence of any discernible sense of humor". This is certainly not the case with the work of Celeste Augé.
In 'Absolution' - a poem in which she alludes to the Magdalene Laundries - she writes "I, too, have sinned,/in several different religions./(Roast pork, assorted blasphemies,/not to mention the fornication.)"
In 'Leda Revisited', Augé writes about the symphysiotomy scandal. It is not an easy subject from which to make a poem. For one thing, it is already so associated in the public mind with tragedy and pathos, that irony is almost the only way to achieve the originality towards which every poem must aspire.
The poem opens with a savagery entirely appropriate to the circumstances: "There're worse things than being fucked by a swan". A perfect beginning for such a poem in that it will offend all the right people.
is one of the best poetry collections I've read this year.