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Here on Earth
Categories: 21st Century, British
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (88 pages)
(Pub. Nov 2022)
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Nov 2022)
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We are still here on earth. With a troubled sense of wonder, Jeffrey Wainwright's new book witnesses to that earth's ordinariness, profusion and mystery. The collection begins with his beginning, a poem that evokes his own birth: 'Here I Come'. He concludes inevitably with 'Here I Go'.
In between are poems that describe and contemplate on the variety of life, ranging from a fleeing mouse to geology and gravity. History features, as so often in his poetry, with the earth's transition from inanimate matter to the fearsome and various place we know. There is a sequence on contemporary Manchester, another on the domestic and wider presence of coal, and a series on the iniquities of the British Empire – histories that connect and contend with one another.
Describing this last sequence, Shirley Chew notes the poet's 'preoccupation with words and history', his 'self-reflexive wit' and the 'wry look' he takes at the poet's art itself. He is a master of tones of voice, of registers, of patterns and rhythms, and his characteristic inventiveness is everywhere to be found in this book which touches on so many timely and timeless concerns Here on Earth.
Awards won by Jeffrey Wainwright Short-listed, 2017 Arnold Bennett Book Prize (What Must Happen )
Praise for Jeffrey Wainwright
Ben Ray, Oxford Review of Books
'As Best We Can is a defining poetic moment of 2020.''There are some lovely individual poems here, like 'Spring Walk', 'Seascape' and 'The Window-Ledge'. But best are the poems of loss and change, about growing up in the Potteries after the War'
Steve Whittaker, Yorkshire Times
Andy Croft, The Morning Star
'Many of these quiet poems have a disproportionately unsettling effect... This is work that comes from slow attention, proper effort and commitment to understanding.'
Steve Hanson, Manchester Review of Books
'What Must Happen is at once a lyrical meditation on the nature of history and on ourselves as perceiving subjects in a world of objects and other species. It ranges confidently across different geographies and societies from working lives in Josiah Wedgewood's Etruria in the Potteries to the example of the Eternals: Jupiter, Venus, and Apollo. Combining sinuous intelligence with humanity and compassion, Jeffrey Wainwright's latest collection puts him at the forefront of contemporary English poets.'
'Jeffrey Wainwright's work is among the most interesting of any poet now writing'
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