Pearl & Bone

Pearl & Bone

Pearl and Bone explores the complexities of becoming a new mother amidst a global pandemic, with the stories of other mothers interwoven amongst the author’s intimate moments, from pregnancy to childbirth and beyond. These poems showcase the lost voices of women through history – in the throes of labour, Mary paces the stable; in a dim Soho studio, Christine Keeler poses for the infamous Lewis Morley photographs; while above us, the moon laments the number of feet that have stormed her surface.

Wales Arts Review Best Poetry of 2022

Praise for Pearl & Bone


The book exudes a dynamic energy, partly charged by the possessive feelings of motherhood… partly by Dunning’s engagement with the politics that circumscribe female lives in the modern world.


These poems don’t shy away from hard facts. These are scenes from a horror movie. These are scenes from the 1950s. These are scenes from the world we’re living in right now. These polyphonous poems are voices at a protest march, strong in their oneness, furiously, exhaustedly casting their spells and blessings

Poetry wales

The magic here is very powerful indeed, upturning traditional concepts, inverting hierarchical and patriarchal notions, and encompassing an intrinsic, deeply felt rebellion, including rebellion against poetical and literary norms.

The broken spine

A celebration of the triumphs and strengths of women as well as sharing their vulnerabilities and sensitivities


Pearl & Bone is quiet in its fury and resilient in its hope, even in the face of political upheaval.


A concerned and original voice in the current debate about sexuality and gender.

‘Dunning has a real talent for taking huge issues and using poetry to shine light on them in new and creative ways.

created to read

These poems are full of fragility and vulnerability, but also strength and celebration, evoking the strange miracles of pregnancy and birth.


A captivating collection of poetry which flows between moments of tenderness and harrowing rawness.

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