Quote of the Day
Carcanet Press is our most courageous publisher. When you look at what they have brought out since their beginnings, it makes so many other houses seem timid or merely predictable.
Subscribe to our mailing list
Categories: 21st Century, British, Humour
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (64 pages)
(Pub. May 2016)
Out of Stock
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. May 2016)
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.
We can be sure that no-one
reads a poem Rilke’s way,
now change your life, bam,
now, presumably, change it again.
You’d never get through an anthology.
Really to read properly is to buzz low over
our future lives in a cropduster,
throwing out stumbling blocks.
from ‘Peach Tree’
Shortlisted for the 2017 Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize For Second Collections
Sometime during the twentieth century, the self-mythology of the literary critic fused with that of the cowboy: lone outriders practising a defunct trade. In Holy Toldedo! John Clegg tracks the critic’s silhouette over the dangerous, sun-drenched landscapes of New Mexico, California, Nashville, Utah, Oxford, Cambridge, and London. Here is Donald Davie listening to gospel radio in a Nashville taxi, and here is F. R. Leavis standing on a chair, ‘unscrewing instead the world from round the lightbulb’. Vistas of bristlecone and citrus groves, pocked with fruit flies and rain birds, fuse with the glib-core of Oxbridge England, the university science labs where ‘all three entrances felt like the back way’. Holy Toledo! is a history of English literary criticism in the twentieth century, a bestiary of the American Southwest, an unreliable guide to the desert. Generous, humorous, happily askew, Clegg’s first Carcanet collection signals the flourishing of an ‘emerging’ poet as a major voice.
Cover Image: Unattributed Mexican ex voto tablet, 1960, depicting Death, the Virgen del Carmen, and a man on horseback cheating Death
Awards won by John Clegg Short-listed, 2017 Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize
'Shaking off the dust of Cambridge, John Clegg spoors Bloomsbury, and then - Holy Toledo! - enters some western from another planet. Whatever horse he rides he makes it go, a lasso his modus operandi for capturing images.'
Marius Kociejowski 'No poet writing today matches John Clegg for wit and rigour. Holy Toledo! opens up a brilliant, uncanny frontier between the American West and the England of Empson, Davie and Woolf. Questioning language, rejoicing in it, Clegg's poetry plunges headfirst into the Great Tradition and comes out swinging.'
Dai George Praise for John Clegg 'Clegg is never difficult, just charmingly elliptical. Like Dickinson, he tells it slant, and in his far-flung landscape everything slants... Aliquot is peppered with subtle ingenuity, which might seem coldly clever, were it not for the poems' warmth and underlying emotion.'
Tristram Fane Saunders, The TLS
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2023 Carcanet Press Ltd