Charlotte Eichler is an award-winning poet based in West Yorkshire, UK. Her work has appeared in magazines and anthologies including Carcanet's New Poetries VIII (2021), The Island Review, The Manchester Review, PN Review and The Rialto. Her debut pamphlet, Their Lunar Language, came out with Valley Press in 2018 and was one of the Poetry School's books of the year. Her first collection, Swimming Between Islands, was published by Carcanet in February 2023.
An introduction to Charlotte's work by the poet Laura Scott can be read over on Carcanet's New Poetries VIII blog.
Swimming Between Islands
Swimming Between Islands has its own distinctive weathers, atmospheres and fauna. Egg collectors, moth trappers, hermits, cuttlefish, pyjama sharks and bloody henry starfish all play a part. This islanded world is the starting point for poems that explore how we try to connect with each other – despite misunderstanding, family silences and unwanted legacies.
‘The pyrotechnic brilliance of Eichler’s poetry resides in leap-making, a fearless embracing of the unlimited possibilities of form and style [...] There is a diaphanous quality to the poet’s thinking that superimposes a luminous film over her tableaux.’
– Steve Whitaker, Yorkshire Times
‘Read Charlotte Eichler’s poems slowly, so that you can really take note of them, because they’re astonishing.’
– Laura Scott
Watch the online launch of Swimming Between Islands, which includes a discussion with Rebecca Goss, and read an article on Carcanet's blog, where Charlotte talks about the background to the poems and discusses the process of putting a first collection together. You can also listen to Charlotte reading from and discussing the book in an episode of Love the Words on Chapel FM.
Their Lunar Language
‘Their Lunar Language infolds named and imaginary, near and far-flung places. It assembles a disquieting array of feminine characters, later bringing in masculine figures of tenderness and fragility. This creates a powerful authorial perspective, not mistakable for any other voice. Brides and cuttlefish, wayward or broken forms of love, woodlands transposable with human manufacture: this is modern pastoral, not nostalgic, and well beyond the ordinary domestic lyric.’
– Anthony Vahni Capildeo
‘Every time you feel like you know where you're headed with this gorgeous-looking pamphlet something comes along and jabs you in the neck. Whether the little girl with her collection of tortured insects, the brooches of milk teeth, or the unchanging views of Prague in the red View-Master – there’s a kind of spooky dream world here, full of uncomfortable detail, beautifully rendered. More please!’
‘Their Lunar Language is a timely and discomfiting exploration of our ambivalent interactions with the non-human – and with each other. Eichler exposes our uneasy relationship with the natural world with subtlety and originality. [Hers] is a voice that deserves to be heard in this increasingly fractured world, in which so much is at stake.’
– Sarah Westcott, review for the Poetry School
Wed 22 February, 7-8pm: Swimming Between Islands: Online Book Launch. Click here for registration via Carcanet.
Wed 1 March, 7-9pm: Spring Rhythm at Leeds Lit Fest. Poems to celebrate the arrival of spring, with Zaffar Kunial, Matt Howard, Charlotte Eichler, Kate Simpson, Jess Richards, and Rachel Bower. Click here for more details and tickets.
Wed 5 April, 6.30-8.30pm: Swimming Between Islands and The Fourth Sister: Joint Book Launch with Laura Scott. Join Charlotte and Laura Scott as they celebrate the publication of their new books at the Fitzrovia Chapel in London. There will be drinks, readings, discussion, and time for audience questions. Registration via Eventbrite.
Thurs 4 May, 7pm: Laura Scott and Charlotte Eichler at The Book Hive, Norwich. More details to follow.
Tues 30 May, 7-8.30pm: An Evening of Nature Poetry at Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham. Click here for more details and tickets.
Thurs 22 June, 7-8pm: Finding the Words with Explore York Library, online. Registration via Eventbrite.
Wed 5 July, 7-10pm: More Song: Poetry Evening at The Record Cafe, Bradford.
Wed 30 August, 7pm: Charlotte is the guest reader for Rhubarb at The Triangle, Shipley. Free/pay-as-you-feel, plus open mic. https://shipleytriangle.com/
Tues 10 October, 6.30-7.30pm: Jen Campbell and Charlotte Eichler in conversation for The Portobello Bookshop, Edinburgh. This is an online-only event - click here for more details and tickets.