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Categories: 21st Century, British, First Collections
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (88 pages)
(Pub. Feb 2017)
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Feb 2017)
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‘Ach! I misspoke. What I mean to say is this …’ In Long Pass, Joey Connolly’s first collection, the poet – in love, in puzzlement, in frustration or in elegy – keeps catching himself out, starting again. He wants to speak truthfully. He wants to say things simply. But nothing is as simple as it seems at first. Nothing strikes the interlocutor quite as he intends. Ach! He goes back. Deflections, tangents: the long pass, the long unfolding sentence, the growing sequence, move away from what they intend to say in order at last, wittily, angrily, ironically, to swerve in and say it.
Translation, too, is hard. There are often competing versions – of Lorca, for example, and Cavafy. ‘ The painter is frustrated to be always / painting onto something, to be / concealing precisely as he displays.’ Words reveal and at the same time conceal, yet what they conceal is part of what they want to say.
The poet throws the poem for someone who isn’t always there to catch. The fortunate reader intercepts.
Awards won by Joey Connolly Winner, 2012 Eric Gregory Award
'This is not a book where things simply happen; the assumption of an invisible author relaying a truthful narrative that underpins nearly all story-telling is laid aside. In these poems, the truth and the narrative peel apart from each other, the 'truth' is revealed to be another narrative, and the authorial telling of it yet another. In Connolly's hands the tools of literary theory (and of all the other intellectual traditions he raids) are not used sneeringly to dismantle a reader's 'naïve' love of story and emotion, but to deepen and complicate both.'
The Poetry School Books of the Year 2017
'Connolly can be a very personal poet and has technique enough to make the personal poems poignant and beguiling.'
Ian Pople, The Manchester Review
'Montaigne calls philosophy une poésie sophistiquée. Connolly's is sophisticated poésie, for sure, but also contains something of what the Shangri-Las called 'Sophisticated Boom Boom'. This is a serious attempt to write philosophy as poetry, to render complex arguments about nominalism and epistemology in verse without losing sensuality's boom boom.'
Will Harris, Poetry School
'Long Pass, for its humour, strange voicings, playfulness, and ability to move the reader, should be celebrated.'
New Welsh Review
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