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Poems Without Irony

Alex Wong

9781784103040
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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 784103 04 0
Categories: 21st Century, British, First Collections
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: January 2017
216 x 135 x 11 mm
136 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle), eBook (PDF)
  • Description
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • Shortlisted for The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry First Collection Prize 2017
    Shortlisted for The Roehampton Poetry Prize 2017

    Poems without Irony is Alex Wong’s first collection. In subject, tone and form it ranges widely. The book as a whole does not address any one paticular theme, but much of it is concerned with the experience of particularity, with the bounds of moral calculation, and with the need for precision – of thought and of speech – as an aim or obligation. Tensions between the ‘natural’ and the artificial, intention and expression, good faith and bad, are recurrently felt as the poems negotiate their various kinds of ambivalence. The style is governed by a desire for simplicity almost equal to the lure of extravagance, and by the tendency of its subtly differentiated voices towards an elusive playfulness in the face of serious matters. The poems are designed to be read aloud, or at least ‘using the mouth’. Wong’s patient and sympathetic listening to the sounds of English poetry in all periods has enriched the patterns of his own. The poems, therefore, enfold many memories of earlier styles – revived, or still vital, but also gaining new tonal energy in a functional strangeness.



    Alex Wong was born in London and now lives in Cambridge, where he studied English literature. He received a doctoral degree for his work on Renaissance English and Latin poetry, and has published a number of critical essays. For Carcanet he has edited the Selected Verse of Algernon Charles Swinburne (2015), ... read more
    Awards won by Alex Wong Short-listed, 2017 Roehampton Poetry Prize Short-listed, 2017 The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry First Collection Prize (Poems Without Irony)
    'Possesses brilliant linguistic finesse'
    David Morley
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