Carcanet Press Logo
Quote of the Day
If it were not for Carcanet, my library would be unbearably impoverished.
Louis de Bernieres
Order by 13th December to receive books in time for Christmas (UK orders, standard shipping). Non-UK orders should be placed by 13th December (with courier shipping) to ensure delivery by Christmas. Please also bear in mind that all orders may be subject to postal delays that are beyond our control.

Fast

Jorie Graham

Fast Cover Image
10% off
Categories: 21st Century, American, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (96 pages)
(Pub. Jun 2017)
9781784104702
£12.99 £11.69
  • Description
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • Finalist for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature 2020
    Winner of the 2018 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry

    A 2017 Poetry Book Society Recommendation

    In her first new collection in five years, leading American poet Jorie Graham returns with her most exhilarating, personal, and formally inventive work to date. In Fast Graham’s long, pliant line takes sense as far as it can go, exploring the limits of the human and the dark seductions of the post-human. Conjuring an array of voices and perspectives – from bots to the holy shroud, the ocean floor and a medium transmitting from beyond the grave — these poems give form to the increasingly rapid transformation of our planet and ourselves. As it navigates cyber life; 3d-printed ‘life’; life after death; and biologically, chemically, and electronically modified life, Fast lights up the border of our new condition as individuals and as a species on the brink.
    Jorie Graham was born in New York City in 1950, the daughter of a journalist and a sculptor. She was raised in Rome, Italy and educated in French schools. She studied philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris before attending New York University as an undergraduate, where she studied filmmaking. She received ... read more
    Awards won by Jorie Graham Short-listed, 2021 The ASLE-UKI Book Prize for Ecological Writing
    (Runaway)
    Short-listed, 2020 The Neustadt International Prize for Literature
    (Fast)
    Winner, 2018 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry (Fast) Winner, 2012 Forward Prize for Best Collection  (PLACE) Winner, 2017 Wallace Stevens Award for Lifetime Achievement  Commended, 2017 Poetry Book Society Recommendation.
    (Fast)
    Winner, 1996 Pulitzer Prize
    (The Dream of the Unified Field)
    Short-listed, 2012 T S Eliot Prize () Short-listed, 2012 Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection ()
    'Even when these poems are at their darkest and most purposefully incoherent in terms of voice and tone, there remains a trace of language's ability to seek out, transmit and make visible the impact of the world on the self for others to experience.'
    Oxonian Review


    'The reason that poets are addicted to poetry and they write it for a lifetime, is because a poem will permit you to go through life and have an experience you can't have by any other means.'
    Jorie Graham talking to Ian McMillan on Radio 3's The Verb, 15 December 2017


     'Another striking book from Jorie Graham, and one that frequently reaches fever-pitch in its frantic explosion of the lyric mode. Graham's themes in these poems -ranging through sickness, death and environmental crises -would rattle any reader, and her long lines, clamouring fragments and sprawling chorus of voices increase this effect to a dramatic extent. These are urgent, stressed and stressful poems that produce a panicked motion-sickness as you spiral through them. This is an important, desperate and, at times, frightening, book that truly captures the tone of contemporary times.'
    The Poetry School Books of the Year 2017


     'In FAST, [Graham's] subject is mortality - her own (she was diagnosed with cancer five years ago), her parents', that of intellect and culture (in dementia, in digital overwhelm), that of the planet. It is a collection of sensual poems so urgent that, by the end, they have abandoned traditional beginnings and are physically bunched up on the right-hand side of the page. And through it all, an unwavering, serious belief in the power of poetry, a repeatedly inhabited rejection of Auden's assertion that poetry makes nothing happen.'
    The Guardian


     'Fast might immerse us in monstrous acts of environmental and political violence, our obsession with progress, money, and our own individualistic, virtual worlds, but what still succeeds is the wish to live on. Perhaps if we were to listen to that wish we might, amongst all the acceleration, stop and think again.'
    - The London Magazine


    Praise for Jorie Graham 'Attempting to comment briefly on this visionary commotion is like trying to capture thunder and lightning in a bottle... This is a world beyond humanity, beyond nature, beyond culture, and yet amid the ruins there is the undeniable triumph and power of poetic utterance'

    Rachel Hadas, Times Literary Supplement

    'From its opening page until its final lines, Graham''s 15th collection of poetry has the heightened urgency of a young writer's debut. True to its title, it hurtles forward. Poems pour forth, frothing and pooling and threatening, at times, to overflow their banks...Runaway feels as though it has been written for right now, especially as we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, but also for a target audience that might emerge 100 years on...'

    Jeff Gordinier, New York Times

    'Sweeping lines and fractured phrases, ampersands and italics, lines unexpectedly justified right: all of these wake us up to 'the freshness of what's / there.'

    Fiona Sampson, The Guardian

      'Her most thrilling poems hurtle through long, unpredictable lines that devour and spit out ancient echoes and internet detritus as they go. . . . She in her poems remakes a world you can inhabit, one in which you sense what it is you're letting go of, now, before it's gone.'

    Harper's Magazine
    'Runaway, Jorie Graham's expansive new book, insistently tunes us to the human urgency for wholeness, for the meanings of embodiment in a time when some of us/are murdered, and some of have mouths that keep saying yes.'

    Forrest Gander, New York Times

    'We should be grateful to Jorie Graham for her own heroics of perception, even if they show up our ordinary insight. If we can't see, with Graham, "the spots where the birds must eventually land", at least we know now where we should be looking.'
    Gwyneth Lewis, Times Literary Supplement.
    'Graham's best book in at least a decade.'
    Publishers Weekly
     'The poems in Jorie Graham's Sea Change might look unapproachable but they are models of clarity and purity.'
    Nicola Smyth, 'Books of the Year', the Independent, 28 December 2008
     'There are erotic poems, elegiac poems, and there are dauntingly difficult, allusive and even impenetrable poems. Throughout there is a powerful, engaging intelligence and an affirming lyric grace.'
    Stephen Matterson on The Errancy, in Poetry Ireland Review, vol. 62
Share this...
The Carcanet Blog Rowan Williams: Collected Poems read more John F. Deane: Naming of the Bones read more Vahni Capildeo: Places of Writing read more Jenny Lewis Responds to a Commission for a Poem Against Climate Change for COP26 read more Carcanet Books in the Exact Editions COP26 Virtual Showcase read more John McAuliffe on Owen Lowery's The Crash Wake Poems read more
Find your local bookshop logo
Arts Council Logo
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2021 Carcanet Press Ltd