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The President of Planet Earth
David Wheatley (University of Aberdeen)
RRP: GBP£ 10.39
Not Yet Available This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
ISBN: 978 1 784104 21 4
Categories: 21st Century, Irish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: November 2017
168 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (PDF), Paperback, eBook (Kindle)
In his fifth collection of poems, David Wheatley twins his birthplace and his current home, Ireland and Scotland, to engage issues of globalism, identity, and language. He takes inspiration from the Russian Futurist poet Velimir Khlebnikov, self-nominated President of Planet Earth, who in a state of apocalyptic rapture envisioned a new world culture, its rise and its dramatic undoing.
In The President of Planet Earth Wheatley brings an experimental sensibility to bear on questions of land and territory, channelling the messianic aspirations of modernism into subversive comedy. Sequences explore the ‘other country’ of the poet’s Irish childhood, Khlebnikov’s Russia, and the Scottish landscapes where Wheatley now makes his home. We move between Pictish pre-history, the imaginary South American nation of ‘Oblivia’, and post-independence referendum Scotland.
Wheatley marries classical, Gaelic, Scots and continental traditions. He deploys several styles – prose poetry; concrete poetry; translations from Middle Irish, Latin and French; sestinas and sonnets in Scots – to heady effect. The President of Planet Earth refashions language and the world it shapes, devising a transformative poetics.
Praise for David Wheatley 'This is a book I've been looking forward to for a long time, and it does not disappoint. Wheatley is one of our most original poet-critics, and the serious range of his enthusiasms is evident in the many forms, voices, histories and horizons here, from Lucretian couplets and Irish lament to the tragi-comic decadence of Baudelaire and the witty 'avant-gardening' of Scottish artist Ian Hamilton Finlay. Like an 'idling docker's flourish on the spoons', Wheatley makes music from the throwaway moment, and in this big, rich, satirical, lyrical volume draws it all into a virtuoso performance.'
'Wheatley's is a poetry of displacement, uncertainty and sheer possibility.'
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