'The lodgings at the end of girlhood are not as advertised...'

The weight of our bodies, the heat of them; the thick waist of history; and the crush of possible futures, these poems reside on the lip of contemporary womanhood.

Soap is the debut collection of Western Australian poet Charlotte Guest. 

'Sometimes a poet's voice seems to land with a satisfying thump, fully formed. Charlotte Guest's is one such voice. Her elegant, tender and surprising lyrics are tuned, in her words, in 'invisible forces'. Her learning, worn light, makes the suburban world strange and familiar all at once. Investigating in her debut Soap 'the lodgings at the end of girlhood' with both wit and heart-aching ambivalence, Guest is one to watch.'

- Lucy Dougan


'These are clear-eyed poems, both tough and tender. Guest casts applied light across the everyday.'

- Emily Stewart  

Recent Work Press

September 2017



'The epigraph that Charlotte Guest chooses to preface her collection, Soap, comes from Fay Zwicky, the acclaimed Western Australian poet: “Is anyone ever ready for exactly who they are?” It is particularly apposite a question for it is difficult to remember when reading such mature and thought-through poems that this is first collection from a poet herself is still a young adult. In Soap she connects us to a reality of her cohort of young women approaching adulthood through her own ‘examined life’. I am with Lucy Dougan in believing that Charlotte Guest is “one to watch” and hope this is just the start of a career in poetry.'

- Angela Gardner, foam:e.  

'In Soap, Charlotte Guest writes a beautifully lyrical and imagist poetry that is finely tuned to the concerns of a contemporary young woman: sex, body image, gender politics, family relationships and the loss of friends... Soap is a stellar debut collection.'

- Phillip Hall, Plumwood Mountain. 

'What makes it a striking first book is the way individual poems are stand-alone pieces with their own dynamic and their own stance towards the world...Soap [is marked] by a system of high standards which result in poems quite unlike each other.'

- Martin Duwell, Australian Poetry Review.