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The President of Planet Earth

David Wheatley (University of Aberdeen)

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RRP: GBP 10.39
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eBook (Kindle)
ISBN: 978 1 784104 22 1
Categories: 21st Century, Irish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: November 2017
168 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (PDF), Paperback, eBook (EPUB)
  • Description
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • Shortlisted for the 2018 Irish Times Poetry Now Award

    In his fifth collection of poems, David Wheatley twins his birthplace and his current home, Ireland and Scotland, to engage issues of globalism, identity, and language. He takes inspiration from the Russian Futurist poet Velimir Khlebnikov, self-nominated President of Planet Earth, who in a state of apocalyptic rapture envisioned a new world culture, its rise and its dramatic undoing.

    In The President of Planet Earth Wheatley brings an experimental sensibility to bear on questions of land and territory, channelling the messianic aspirations of modernism into subversive comedy. Sequences explore the ‘other country’ of the poet’s Irish childhood, Khlebnikov’s Russia, and the Scottish landscapes where Wheatley now makes his home. We move between Pictish pre-history, the imaginary South American nation of ‘Oblivia’, and post-independence referendum Scotland.

    Wheatley marries classical, Gaelic, Scots and continental traditions. He deploys several styles – prose poetry; concrete poetry; translations from Middle Irish, Latin and French; sestinas and sonnets in Scots – to heady effect. The President of Planet Earth refashions language and the world it shapes, devising a transformative poetics.
    David Wheatley was born in Dublin in 1970 and lives in rural Aberdeenshire. His previous collections, published by Gallery Press, are Thirst (1997; Rooney Prize for Irish Literature), Misery Hill (2000), Mocker (2006) and A Nest on the Waves (2010). A prolific critic, he has edited the Poems of James Clarence ... read more
    Awards won by David Wheatley Short-listed, 2018 Irish Times Poetry Now Award (The President of Planet Earth)
    'Learned by never dry, always witty and surprising, Wheatley scampers through the arts, music, painting and history in this big bazaar of a book'
    Claire Crowther, Poetry London
    'These are poems unable to live off a single set of roots; they continually open up to new ways of scrutinising an environment of which we are both analysts and integral parts.'
    TLS
     'Fluent, smart, slightly arch, good company.'
    Irish Times
     'Gracefully meditative...a Chatterton-esque literary discovery of old, albeit with references to Bob Geldof and Alka-Seltzer.'
    Literary Review
    Praise for David Wheatley 'Learned by never dry, always witty and surprising, Wheatley scampers through the arts, music, painting and history in this big bazaar of a book'
    Claire Crowther, Poetry London
    'These are poems unable to live off a single set of roots; they continually open up to new ways of scrutinising an environment of which we are both analysts and integral parts.'
    TLS
     'Fluent, smart, slightly arch, good company.'
    Irish Times
     'Gracefully meditative...a Chatterton-esque literary discovery of old, albeit with references to Bob Geldof and Alka-Seltzer.'
    Literary Review
     'This is a book I've been looking forward to for a long time, and it does not disappoint. Wheatley is one of our most original poet-critics, and the serious range of his enthusiasms is evident in the many forms, voices, histories and horizons here, from Lucretian couplets and Irish lament to the tragi-comic decadence of Baudelaire and the witty 'avant-gardening' of Scottish artist Ian Hamilton Finlay. Like an 'idling docker's flourish on the spoons', Wheatley makes music from the throwaway moment, and in this big, rich, satirical, lyrical volume draws it all into a virtuoso performance.'
    Jeremy Noel-Tod
       'Wheatley's is poetry of displacement, uncertainty and sheer possibility.'
    Guardian
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