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Jay Gao

Author Photo of Jay Gao
Books by this author: Imperium
  • About
  • Reviews
  • Awards
  • Jay Gao is the author of three poetry pamphlets: TRAVESTY58 (2022); Katabasis (2020), a winner of a New Poets Prize; and Wedding Beasts (2019), shortlisted for the Saltire-Callum MacDonald Award. He is a Contributing Editor at The White Review. Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, he earned his MFA at Brown University, and is currently a PhD student at Columbia University.
    'An askance and enthralling book'

    Stuart Kelly, The Scotsman

    'A prodigiously assured new voice... This rich hinterland of knowledge is never fusty, always alive.'

    Fiona Sampson, The Guardian

    'This is an elaborately resourceful book, driven by a wittily self-conscious and politically savvy comic brio, satirical about its staging of its very counter-imperial animus, a powerful and febrile text.'

    Adam Piette, Blackbox Manifold  

    'Nuanced, challenging, sometimes hilarious, often anguished, this impressive reimagining of The Odyssey makes for an unforgettable road trip; Gao's Odysseus is a nervy and compelling traveller, a sort of non-hero, itinerant and always somewhat lost. Waylaid with Gao in hotel bars and tour buses, we are estranged, sensitized as we go to the dislocations and non-belonging of children of the world's diasporas, and also to the structures of appropriation and exploitation embedded in travel. We are all conditioned and implicated; but perhaps this acute and attentive Odysseus is exactly who we need to help us listen to the buried histories of Imperialism, to "wait a little differently, mourn a / little more".'

    Fiona Benson

    'These poems reject the heroism of the legible "I". If a central figure emerges it might be that of the Anti-Translator, not there to disclose personal information but to reveal the bareness of our "corpse-lives". Jay Gao's Imperium marks a new chapter in British poetry, bringing to bear a new complexity, richness of thought and influence.'

    Will Harris

    Awards won by Jay Gao Winner, 2023 A Somerset Maugham Award
    Winner, 2023 An Eric Gregory Award
    Winner, 2023   The Michael Murphy Memorial Prize
    Long-listed, 2023 The Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award (Imperium)
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