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Diary of the Last Man
RRP: GBP 9.99
You Save: GBP 1.00
Price: GBP 8.99
This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
ISBN: 978 1 784103 48 4
Categories: 21st Century, British, Welsh
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: April 2017
216 x 135 x 8 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (Kindle), eBook (EPUB), eBook (PDF)
Digital access available through Exact Editions
Shortlisted for the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize
Shortlisted for the 2018 Wales Book of the Year
Shortlisted for the 2018 Roland Mathias Poetry Award
The opening poem sequence, ‘Diary of the Last Man’, sets the tone for Robert Minhinnick’s book, a celebration of the dwindling Earth, an elegy, a caution. His Wales is a touchstone; other landscapes and cityscapes are tried against it, with its erratic weather, its sudden changes of mood, ‘a black tonic’. The sequence remembers all the geographies of his earlier work, old and new world, but now unpeopled and the lonely spirit free to go anywhere, do anything, but meaning with mankind has drained away. Yet still alive, and still with language, registering. The rest of the book is filled with voices: of children, of rivers, terrorists, magicians; and voices translated from the Welsh, and from Turkish and Arabic, shared, enriching with their difference, their other worlds. History washes over and washes up on the strand of this Welsh book. It is seen and recognised, it begins to be transformed. In the long concluding poem, ‘The Sand Orchestra’, the poet returns to his own voice, and to the voice of a Bechstein piano abandoned in the open air, played now by nature, its winds and sand. The last man, who has been looking for Ulysses, is the very man he has been looking for.
Awards won by Robert Minhinnick Short-listed, 2017 The T.S. Eliot Prize (Diary of the Last Man ) Short-listed, 2018 Wales Book of the Year (Diary of the Last Man ) Short-listed, 2018 Roland Mathias Poetry Award (Diary of the Last Man )
'While Robert Minhinnick's Diary of the Last Man is rooted in the dunescapes of the author's hometown of Porthcawl, it is also a work that is intrinsically internationalist in outlook. The long title poem is a wry, standing-ovation-worthy requiem for humanity predominantly set on the Welsh coast but it could be argued that Minhinnick reserves his most powerful poetry for when he casts his eyes abroad.'
Wales Arts Review Highlights of the Year 2017
'Diary of the Last Man presents an unsentimental, indifferent world, filled with cruelty and atrocity but, while there may be no Jesus in Minhinnick's geology, there is no shortage of beauty and, filtered through the sands of his language, this beauty is arresting and memorable.'
Poetry blogger John Field on the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize newsletter
'It is in observing these cycles of sea and river, human and animal, that Minhinnick most excels, and his collection as a whole is beautifully and acoustically attuned to what is most precious in out lives and around us' Suzannah V Evans, New Welsh Review on Diary of the Last Man 'Robert Minhinnick's new collection confirms his status as one of the most important poets of these turbulent times. Bleakly elegiac, environmentally political, vital and visionary, his poems cast an extraordinary light over our darkening landscapes.'
Carol Ann Duffy
Praise for Robert Minhinnick 'Robert Minhinnick's Diary of the Last Man casts a ferocious eye on the natural worldâs vulnerabilities - and our own - in the dysfunctional relationship we have created with that world. His is an apocalyptic vision which moves from isolated contemplation of the fragile beauties of place, most usually South Wales, through atrocity in Iraq, to a community of translations from the Turkish, Arabic and Welsh, achieving a bleakly affirming global regard.'
W.N Herbert (Chair of the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize Judging Panel)
'Robert Minhinnick is the leading Welsh poet of his generation'
'There is something imposing in the way he makes his chosen locale, the strand of Porthcawl, feel like the edge of the world, on which wash up echoes of world politics and broad sweeps of history.'
Philip Gross, Poetry London
'After the Hurricane is a rich and rewarding collection, full of flinty fragments which light a bonfire of the imagination.'
Planet: The Welsh Internationalist'Minhinnick is one of the few poets who writes about a dockyard or a hedgerow with equal authority...A friend of mine once said that he liked to think of R.S.Thomas as "just being there": outside the media hubbub, steadily producing wonderful poems. Although Minhinnick's considerably younger, and more cosmopolitan in scope, I'd say the same about him.'
'Minhinnick is a poet of the moment...his best work takes you and places you slap bang in the middle of an experience. Like a mini tardis.'
The Big Issue
'Biodiversity is at the heart of what he writes about, backed up by a knowledge of archaeology and geology. He is now entering his mature phase and is already one of our most accomplished poets.'
The Western Mail
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