The childhood of Patricia Lockwood, the poet dubbed "The Smutty-Metaphor Queen of Lawrence, Kansas" by The New York Times, was unusual in many respects. There was the location- an impoverished, nuclear waste-riddled area of the American Midwest. There was her mother, a woman who speaks almost entirely in strange koans and warnings of impending danger. Above all, there was her gun-toting, guitar-riffing, frequently semi-naked father, who underwent a religious conversion on a submarine and discovered a loophole which saw him approved for the Catholic priesthood by the future Pope Benedict XVI - despite already having a wife and children. When the expense of a medical procedure forces the 30-year-old Patricia to move back in with her parents, husband in tow, she must learn to live again with her family's simmering madness, and to reckon with the dark side of a childhood spent in the bosom of the Catholic Church. Told with the comic sensibility of a brasher, bluer Waugh or Wodehouse, this is at the same time a lyrical and affecting story of how, having ventured into the underworld, we can emerge with our levity and our sense of justice intact.
Extraordinary ... [Lockwood] weaves together past and present in prose that sizzles and sings ... At times, it feels as if you are eating a pudding stuffed with fruit, chocolate, nuts and a hefty dashy of a strong liqueur ... the book is glorious. It crackles with energy and life. It's funny, it's hectic, and it will sometimes trip you up with a sudden sense of anger and pain -- Christina Patterson * Sunday Times * Funny and anarchic ... Priestdaddy is a piece of autobiographical writing like no other ... Father Lockwood is a character you couldn't make up, however poetic your imagination. Obsessed with ships and sizzlin' food, he is a gun-toting Southerner who loves thrashing out heavy rock riffs on his electric guitar while wearing only the tiniest pair of underpants ... Simple childhood moments such as learning to swim are bathed in a glorious light that radiates safety and good humour ... The awful things (things that other priests do; grief; the events that led to 'Rape Joke') are given impressionistic treatment, because this is not a misery memoir. Which is not to say she won't weigh in on the Catholic church's subjugation of women, and the thuggish pro-lifery of her upbringing ... She shoots straight when describing classic Southern machismo ... Lockwood's contribution to the hottest oeuvre of the 21st century [memoir] is delightfully amateurish: chaotic, unstructured and laugh-out-loud funny, with not a trace of a creative writing MA. This naughty, innocent, truthful writer is definitely one to watch -- Melissa Katsoulis * The Times * An extraordinary memoir -- Kate Kellaway * Observer * Patricia Lockwood['s ...] memoir of growing up a priest's daughter in Kansas City gives a rare and nuanced glimpse of life behind the presbytery doors ... Lockwood has a sharp eye for detail and a way with words when conveying it ... But this memoir isn't just about making readers laugh. She also uses her privileged vantage point to get under the skin of contemporary Catholicism ... unflinching as it is, Lockwood has produced from her peculiar childhood something that is exceptional - exquisitely written, funny, disturbing and freighted with insight, lightly worn. Father Greg should be proud -- Peter Stanford * Telegraph * Lockwood's prose is cute and dirty and innocent and experienced, Betty Boop in a pas de deux with David Sedaris ... [Priestdaddy] roars from the gate ... electric -- Dwight Garner * The New York Times *
Patricia Lockwood was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA and raised in all the worst cities of the Midwest. Her debut collection, Balloon Pop Outlaw Black, was released in 2012 by Octopus Books; a selection of her poetry was included in Penguin Modern Poets 2- Controlled Explosions (2016), and her second collection, Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals, is forthcoming from Penguin in 2017. Her poems have appeared widely, including in The New Yorker, the London Review of Books, Tin House and Poetry.