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Seasonal Disturbances

Karen McCarthy Woolf

Seasonal Disturbances Cover
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ISBN: 978 1 784103 36 1
Categories: 21st Century
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: June 2017
216 x 135 x 8 mm
80 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (Kindle), eBook (EPUB), eBook (PDF)
  • Description
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • A 2017 Poetry Book Society Recommendation.

    Set against a backdrop of ecological, political and emotional turbulence, Seasonal Disturbances is a charged yet meditative exploration of the relationship between nature, the city and the self in the 21st century. An interrupted zuihitsu written on board a Dutch barge on the Thames explores the elemental properties of water, repositioning the river as sacred space in a rapidly gentrifying London. A sinister CEO, presides, demigod-like, over a dystopian hinterland, where private detectives are hired to investigate crimes against hollyhocks; Halcyon is discovered as a dead kingfisher, washed up on an Italian beach and Odysseus is the archetypal migrant reimagined as a late night mini-cab driver.

    Lyrical, and at the same time technically inventive, the book includes new forms such as the golden shovel and gram of &s as well as prose/poetry hybrids, found sonnets and landays. As the daughter of a Jamaican émigré, McCarthy Woolf also employs a variety of linguistic disruptions and reversals that critique the rhetoric, as in ‘Tatler’s People Who Really Matter’, which ‘lifts the breathlessly worshipful language of a real-life society power list and applies it to immigrants…to offer a witty and nuanced take on a complex subject.’ (Bidisha, BBC Arts). Political as they may be, these poems are not journalistic reportage but instead aim to inspire what the author describes as an ‘activism of the heart as well as the mind, where we connect to and express forces of love and renewal’.

    Cover Illustration: Nuri R. Melgarejo

    Karen McCarthy Woolf was born in London to an English mother and a Jamaican father. She is the recipient of the Kate Betts Memorial Prize and an Arts and Humanities Research Council scholarship from Royal Holloway, where she is a PhD candidate. She is the editor of three literary anthologies, most ... read more
    Awards won by Karen McCarthy Woolf Commended, 2017 Poetry Book Society Recommendation. (Seasonal Disturbances ) Short-listed, 2015 Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize
    (An Aviary of Small Birds)
    Short-listed, 2015 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection
    (An Aviary of Small Birds)
    Praise for Karen McCarthy Woolf 'I loved Karen McCarthy Woolf's technically perfect poems of winged heartbreak'
    Maggie Gee, The Observer - The New Review, 29.11.2015. 
    '[McCarthy Woolf has] a powerful command of form and rhythm.'
    Alan Brownjohn, Poetry Review
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