Deploying visual poetry, free verse, sonnets, the ballad and spoken word rhythms, Adamantine honours the achievements of remarkable women from Mohawk writer and performer Tekahionwake and iconic Canadian painter Emily Carr to Anglo-Irish revolutionaries Eva Gore-Booth and Constance Markievicz. The book also eulogises unsung heroines, including the late writer Emily Givner, the mothers and orators of West Belfast, and Pamela Jean George, a murdered young Aboriginal woman from Foyle’s home province of Saskatchewan. From Foyle’s concern with the Middle East, so evident in her acclaimed second collection The World Cup, spring troubled reflections on political violence and tributes to Palestinian and Israeli prisoners of conscience. Elsewhere, a vividly imagined conversation between Old Testament wives imbues the collection with a deeper historical resonance, while personal pilgrimages move from chanteuse Nico’s graveyard in Berlin to the crematorium of Grenfell Tower.
In its riveting combination of theatrical flair and emotional vulnerability, the book’s final sequence, The Cancer Breakthrough, recalls the imaginative pyrotechnics of Foyle’s PBS Recommended debut collection The Night Pavilion, and pays spectacular homage to the power of loving community.