Smoothie is Claudine Toutoungi’s debut collection of poems. It takes a tender, exuberant and deliciously dark look at our desire to be heard, whatever the cost; a desire that can be treacherous, comical and sometimes – often enough to fend off despair – fulfilled. Smoothie plots the wayward wanderings of a beguiling cast of misfits – hotel eavesdroppers, city interlopers, lone wolves, phantom bird-watchers, disaffected language robots and triumphant piano-swallowers – as they try to express themselves. The poems are candid without being confessional: the poet’s ‘I’ encompasses the reader. Language’s smooth surface bubbles up as Toutoungi’s characters reveal their peculiarly twenty-first-century disorientations, riffing off loneliness, authenticity and heartbreak as they go.