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Inspector Inspector

Jee Leong Koh

Categories: 21st Century, BAME, Humour, LGBTQ+, Second Collections
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (128 pages)
(Due Aug 2022)
£12.99 £11.69
  • Description
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • Jee Leong Koh writes out of the heart of a contemporary reality most readers are familiar with at second or third hand. He writes of the boats to Lesbos – not Sappho’s island any more, but a camp of migrants. He writes of exile, homelessness (literal and figurative); he understands the perils of war, and the perils of certain kinds of peace. Inspector Inspector, his second Carcanet book (Steep Tea was published in 2015 and chosen as a Best Book of the Year in the Financial Times) and it develops his earlier themes with authority, passion and a sense of possible justice. He knows best Singaporeans, Americans, and Singaporeans in America. He risks longer verse forms, sequences and prose poems. Steep Tea dialogued with women poets from across the world; Inspector Inspector struggles with the legacies of fathers, personal, poetic, and political. Predecessors from very different realms walk together at the hour just before morning. They speak in the tones of lament, wonderment, ecstasy, compelling the poet to mingle their words with his.

    Scattered through the book are thirteen Palinodes in the voice of his dead father, which he answers when the father’s voice falls silent; an erotically charged sequence of love poems entitled ‘Ungovernable Bodies’; ten poems from ‘A Simple History of Singaporeans in America’; and fifteen focuses on America today in ‘50 States in 50 Days!’ There are also his unexpected, powerful single lyrics that touch the quick of contemporary concerns. His is an inclusive, generous and forgiving imagination with an enviable mastery of traditional and experimental forms.
    Jee Leong Koh is the author of three books of poems, the most recent being Seven Studies for a Self Portrait (Bench Press). Born and raised in Singapore, he read English at Oxford University and studied Creative Writing at Sarah Lawrence College. He now lives in New York City. ... read more
    Awards won by Jee Leong Koh Runner-up, 2016 Lambda Literary Awards finalist  (Steep Tea)
    Praise for Jee Leong Koh 'The Singapore-born poet's first UK publication is disciplined yet adventurous in form, casual in tone and deeply personal in subject matter. Koh's verse addresses the split inheritance of his postcolonial upbringing , as well as the tension between an émigré's longing for home and rejection of nostalgia'
    The Financial Times 28.11.2015 
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