Quote of the Day
It is impossible to imagine literary life in Britain without Carcanet.
Subscribe to our mailing list
Shadow and Refrain
Poems and Translations
10% off Paperback
Categories: 21st Century, BAME, British
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (174 pages)
(Pub. May 2021)
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. May 2021)
(Pub. May 2021)
To use the EPUB version, you will need to have Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) installed on your device. You can find out more at https://www.adobe.com/uk/solutions/ebook/digital-editions.html. Please do not purchase this version if you do not have and are not prepared to install, Adobe Digital Editions.
Alex Wong's first collection, Poems Without Irony (2016), was a book that took nothing for granted, that broke through to the particularity of things and experiences, distrusting and defying generality. Elaine Feinstein celebrated the 'extraordinarily new rhetoric for his love poetry' whilst David Morley commended his 'linguistic finesse'.
Shadow and Refrain presses on, less coyly, with similar themes and a tenacious syntax that gorgeously persists until it has secured its quarry, the long sentences - sometimes running through several stanzas - asking to be read aloud to be secured. As the poet insists, 'These poems are designed to be read using the mouth' - for sensation even if not for fully voiced sound. This book, like the first, is troubled by the difficulty of frank expression in the more private nooks of day-to-day life, and is driven to find curious routes into the centres of experiences that resist simpler articulation. Some poems are imagined addresses to inaccessible friends, or engagements with significant places and objects. Intimacy is repeatedly probed, the processes by which it can be attained and lost, the preoccupations it brings with it and leaves behind.
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)
'He loves words and their enticing shape-changing propensities; he loves accuracy of definition and has a consuming distaste for slovenliness.'
Peter Scupham Praise for Alex Wong 'Wong's introduction is enormously stimulating and suggestive, elegantly written, and thoughtfully organized and it takes the reader to the shore of the vast sea of Pater's work anthologized in the main body of the text... this is a portable Pater that provides enough stimulus, raw text, and admirable, thoughtful annotation to act as an outstanding guide to a great writer.'
J. B. Bullen, Studies in Walter Pater and Aestheticism
'Alex Wong's intelligent selection for Carcanet includes the obligatory essays on Leonardo (1869), Botticelli (1870) and Giorgione (1877), as well as the notorious conclusion to The Renaissance (1873) ... Wong's succinct notes cover an impressive range and his selection for Carcanet is an excellent starting point for the first-time reader.'
Elizabeth Prettejohn, London Review of Books
'Eloquently synopsizes the major arguments regarding certain hallmarks of Pater's critical stance and aestheticist worldview... A welcome occurrence and worthy of notice and commendation... There is much that will reward the reader intrepid enough to follow both the main roads and the byways of Pater's thought'
Meghan Freeman, English Literature in Translation 'Possesses brilliant linguistic finesse'
The Carcanet Blog About Mother Muse: Lorna Goodison read more And a dog called Husband: Inuit creation stories read more Thinking with Trees: A book about leisure, Black bodies, and time read more B (After Dante): Ned Denny read more Alex Wong: Shadow and Refrain read more Jenny King: Moving Day read more
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2021 Carcanet Press Ltd