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The President of Planet Earth

David Wheatley (University of Aberdeen)

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Categories: 21st Century, Irish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Nov 2017)
9781784104214
£10.39 £9.35
Paperback (168 pages)
(Pub. Oct 2017)
9781784104207
£12.99 £11.69
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  • Description
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • Shortlisted for the 2018 Irish Times Poetry Now Award

    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. 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.
    David Wheatley was born in Dublin in 1970. He is the author of five previous collections of poetry, including The President of Planet Earth (Carcanet, 2017) and various other books including a novel, Stretto (CB Editions, 2022); he has also coedited with Ailbhe Darcy The Cambridge History of Irish Women’s Poetry ... read more
    Awards won by David Wheatley Commended, 2023 A Poetry Book Society Winter Recommendation
    (Child Ballad)
    Short-listed, 2018 Irish Times Poetry Now Award (The President of Planet Earth)
    'Learned by never dry, always witty and surprising, Wheatley scampers through the arts, music, painting and history in this big bazaar of a book'
    Claire Crowther, Poetry London
    'These are poems unable to live off a single set of roots; they continually open up to new ways of scrutinising an environment of which we are both analysts and integral parts.'
    TLS
     'Fluent, smart, slightly arch, good company.'
    Irish Times
     'Gracefully meditative...a Chatterton-esque literary discovery of old, albeit with references to Bob Geldof and Alka-Seltzer.'
    Literary Review
    Praise for David Wheatley 'This is a substantial and scholarly collection, rooted in what appears to have been considerable research undertaken in archives and local history collections, but reading these poems it never feels that the scholarly is overwhelming the beautifully phrased verses. As well as the powerful lines, the always appropriate image, there are poems of wonderful tenderness.'
    Linda McKenna, The High Window
    'Wheatley's use of the ballad in several poems is masterful, revivifying a muscular form.'
    Jessica Traynor, The Irish Times
     'These are musical poems of freshness and power, balancing technical skill with emotional depth... Child Ballad is my book of the year.'
    Graeme Richardson, Sunday Times
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