The Tempest Prognosticator
The Tempest Prognosticator is Dixon’s third collection of poems, praised by writers in South Africa and abroad.
Also known as a Leech Barometer, a Tempest Prognosticator is a 19th century invention that uses leeches to predict storms. The leeches are kept in small bottles inside the device. When they become agitated by an approaching storm they try to climb out of the bottles and trigger a small hammer which strikes a bell, signalling changeable weather.
Dixon is alert to the quirks and oddities of the world where nature and our constructions coincide, as with this strange Victorian reference. She practices a stylish, time-honoured kind of poetry, well-crafted poems which make you want to return to read them again and again. This wide-ranging, appealing collection also contains fascinating conversations with Eugène Marais, Adamastor and Nonqawuse, ‘richly and vividly observant poems’, as Gabeba Baderoon writes, which ‘teach you how to read the world anew’.
Several of the poems in The Tempest Prognosticator have won prizes in international poetry competitions, establishing Dixon firmly as a poet here and in the UK. It is, as J M Coetzee writes, ‘a virtuoso collection’.