Out now – LINK
Out now – LINK
Why not pop along to the Carcanet summer book sale tomorrow before coming along to our event which starts at 7pm. More details about that on our events page.
Other Room reader Philip Terry has a new book out now from Carcanet HERE
In Quennets Philip Terry develops a sonnet-like form invented by the Oulipian poet Raymond Queneau. Across three sequences, the ‘quennet’ is reworked and refigured in response to three perimiter landscapes. The first sequence, ‘Elementary Estuaries’, is inspired by a series of walks along the Essex estuary, the poems’ appearance on the page suggesting the landscape’s expansive esturine vistas, its pink sail lofts and windswept gorse, beach huts and distant steeples. In the second sequence, written after a series of walks around the Berlin Wall Trail, or Mauerweg, the form changes to reflect the physical, almost bodily tension of the wall as an architectural and social obstruction. The final sequence, ‘Waterlog’, retraces the steps of W. G. Sebald through Suffolk, and here the quennet’s newely elongated shape and ragged margin evoke the region’s eroding coastline, its deserted piers and power stations, electric fences and waterlogged fields. Terry’s project is bold in scope, his poems subtle in effect, a mix of sign and song, concerete and lyric, Oulipo and psychogeography. It is a work about boundaries, political, social, and natural, and about the walk as a critical apparatus through which these fields are shown to connect.
Out now from Carcanet
Halfway through a bad trip
I found myself in this stinking car park,
Underground, miles from Amarillo…
Following his irreverent Oulipian reworking of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, in his new book Philip Terry takes on Dante’s Inferno, shifting the action from the twelfth century to the present day and relocating it to the modern ‘walled city’ of the University of Essex. Dante’s Phlegethon becomes the river Colne; his popes are replaced by vice-chancellors and education ministers; the warring Guelfs and Ghibellines are re-imagined as the sectarians of Belfast, Terry’s home city. Meanwhile, the guiding figure of Virgil takes on new form as Ted Berrigan, one-time visiting professor at Essex and a poet who had himself imagined the underworld: ‘I heard the dead, the city dead / The devils that surround us’ (‘Memorial Day’). In reimagining an Inferno for our times, Terry stays paradoxically true to the spirit of Dante’s original text.
The lineation speeds along at a nice articulated pace, the Dantesque pitch is right and propulsive, the cast of villains is energising, the balance between language and lingo, the allusive and the obscene just right… Berrigan the perfect shambling guide…
It is brilliant… the pattern and rhythm very forceful and the lingo just stunning.