Pascale Petit’s The Zoo Father


If there’s one poetry book you should most definitely own, it’s Pascale Petit’s The Zoo Father. Her writing is powerful, haunting and ethereal, but also very visual – almost strikingly so.

Her other books, The Wounded Deer, The Huntress, Heart of A Deer, The Treekeeper’s Tale and What the Water Gave Me are all excellent, although The Zoo Father is her most disturbing work. However, all of her books are absolutely brilliant. Every word counts.

In The Zoo Father, the poems that are about the narrator’s relationship with her abusive father are riveting and utterly compelling. A tremulous Ambit review of The Zoo Father begins: ‘Pascale Petit’s poems are rather scary.’ Yes, they are. They are also challenging, confrontational, disturbing and powerful. What more could anyone want from modern poetry?

Pascale Petit

Pascale Petit

Imagine Sylvia Plath on acid and you’ll have some idea of what Pascale Petit’s writing is like. I’ve just read her new collection The Treekeeper’s Tale, and it’s wonderful.

For more information on Pascale Petit and her work, you should have a look at her website, which is:

In my opinion, everyone should read Pascale Petit’s work, particularly The Zoo Father.

Written by R J Dent (Sept 2008 – revised August 2010)


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2 Responses to “Pascale Petit’s The Zoo Father”

  1. Katy McReady Says:

    Yes, this is a very strong collection, with some truly amazing poems in it – but What the Water Gave Me is a far stronger collection and is a more mature work too. PP has learned how to write electrifying poetry over the last ten years and although TZF is a great collection – and worth buying and reading, it is a pale shadow of WtWGM. I own them both and have read them repeatedly. Some of the best poetry ever is between those covers – but it’s not poetry for wimps.

  2. Darren Stead Says:

    ‘Sylvia Plath on acid’…. Nice one! And such an accurate description too…

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