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Categories: 21st Century, British, Scottish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (136 pages)
(Pub. Feb 2024)
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(Due Feb 2024)
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Oli Hazzard's third collection emerges from the daily disarray of care and work, nature and technology. Its ambitious, formally various poems extract 'the ore / from boredom', as memory—personal, familial, social, historical—and the collective memory of poetry itself are wrenched out of shape by dramatic disruptions in rhythm, space and scale. The sadness and pain of forgetting is here too, alongside its unexpected forms of potential.
The title, borrowed from the Lutheran hymn that inspired a Bach cantata, catches the book's dreamy, kaleidoscopic, cross-temporal dialogues. Through satirical, allusive, tender, hopeful poems, Sleepers Awake makes spaces for intimacy with the reader, arguing 'through an off-key melody / for the jovial texture of batshit relations, for the pleasure of live-drawing in sceptical company'.
'A magician with language's innate opacities and hidden potentials, Oli Hazzard is one of our most consistently interesting and boundary-pushing poets. Sleepers Awake is a delight of "thorny wattage" that challenges, wrong-foots and rewards, offering new and tender glimpses of personal life caught up in larger constellations of thought. Hazzard is one of my essential poets.'
'Within the kaleidoscopic tour de force of Sleepers Awake, we find the human, burdened, joyful, overwhelmed with desire, duty, bureaucracy and everyday life. Everything seems to be spinning, and also turning, and also moving outward into a larger register of being. So much so, the entire book is constantly reaching and manifest through an incisive and restless lyric address.'
Peter Gizzi Praise for Oli Hazzard 'For Hazzard, language is not a shield, but a flexible and malleable tool in which new modes of expression are lurking... Blotter draws together many different texts and ideas in unpredictable ways, if not 'making it new' then making it original. It demands the reader's full attention, and is an enjoyable and compelling illustration of the wealth of possibilities inherent in language.'
Chrissy Williams, Poetry London
'He has a musical ear, so there's randomness in the generation, but its composition bears careful listening to.'
Jeremy Noel-Tod, The Sunday Times, Twelve poets to read now
'A beautiful, bracing book of surprising, absorbing itineraries, Blotter takes brilliant soundings of linguistic pools and discursive surrounds. These astonishing, seductive sequences explore "how time is layered / into the paint". Hazzard is a formidably inventive poet; he is also a generous, playful, inviting one. He abolishes the distance between the conceptual and the lyrical, updating Wordsworth's "selection of the real language of men" for our GPS moment. His sequences bespeak their compositional procedures but also something irreducibly else: the poet in and of the hinge, the gap, the step, the scroll, the click, the synapse - a shaping and shaped tender intelligence. Like the most ambitious works of any era, Hazzard's poems create their own occasions and terms. They invite us to enter new fields, to go skying toward new horizons, to sense a lovers touch, to hear both "a lullaby" and "the shocking truth"'.
Maureen N. McLane 'Haunting, hilarious, exquisitely inventive, Between Two Windows is a brilliant first collection by one of the brightest young stars in the poetic firmament.'
Mark Ford 'Oli Hazzard brilliantly conveys the experience of experiencing; although his observations are hyper-real, he seems always to be questioning -- and to be making us question -- whether they are sufficiently 'like' ... His work perfectly exemplifies Touchstone's saying that the truest poetry is the most feigning.'
Jane Griffiths 'Between Two Windows by Oli Hazzard is impressive in its formal assuredness and confidence of tone, all the while questioning what poetry is and does.'
Adam Newey, Guardian
The Carcanet Blog Sleepers Awake: Oli Hazzard read more The Miraculous Season: V.R. 'Bunny' Lang, edited by Rosa Campbell read more Egg/Shell: Victoria Kennefick read more The Devil Prefers Mozart: Anthony Burgess read more Eleanor Among the Saints: Rachel Mann read more Sea-Fever: John Masefield read more
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