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Andrew Wynn Owen (All Souls College, Oxford)
RRP: GBP 7.99
ISBN: 978 1 784105 63 1
Categories: 21st Century, British, First Collections
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: May 2018
136 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (Kindle)
The Multiverse, Andrew Wynn Owen’s first book of poems, sings of science, philosophy, and religion, testing the emotional valences of each. It sings in a variety of strictly observed metres and with rhyme. The poems find their way into memory as sense and sound. The Multiverse celebrates human curiosity. The poet is an enthusiast – for the visible world, for scientific and philosophical excursions.
Awards won by Andrew Wynn Owen Winner, 2015 Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors Winner, 2014 Oxford University's Newdigate Prize
'It will be interesting to see where Andrew Wynn Owen goes next. A very young poet with some of the best technical skills of any living poet, one who is not afraid of big subjects, whose enthusiastic gaze is directed outward with energy and gladness, who writes of science and technology with some expertise, who has, well, considerable gifts, is definitely someone who bears close watching.'
Robert Darling, Expansive Poetry Online
'The Multiverse showcases a wise range of material, composed for the most part in the last three years; yet it rings with such flair and precision as would be expected from a more experienced writer...more than hope, happiness pervades The Multiverse'
William Hosie-Lissac, Oxford Review of Books
'There is a lightness that supplants the density of the grand themes however, that sometimes borders on the audacious with an Ashbery-like skill to impart the acerbic or casual aphorism where it's least expected.'
Liam Bishop, Review 31
'He has an almost miraculous ear for the sounds of words and their harmonies together. There is bounding vitality, surgical precision and coquettish wit in every stanza.'
Richard Davenport-Hines, The Spectator Books of the Year
'Andrew Wynn Owen's impressive debut collection has the crafted confidence of a poet who has inherited the stylistic techniques of Auden, Hardy, Herbert and all those forebears who placed their trust in poetry's lyrical birthright. The shapes and structures of intricately patterned verse feel like a natural form of expression for Wynn Owen, prompting and provoking a flexibility of language and a fluidity of thought appropriate to the bewildering and beguiling multiplicities of our contemporary world. Within those controlled outlines he showcases an extraordinary versatility of tone and feeling.'
- Simon Armitage
'To enter Andrew Wynn Owen's The Multiverse is to enter a world ringing with harmonic patterning, where past and close future are active simultaneously, where rhyme gathers and spins off the edges of intricate thought, where observation and meditation fire together with striking formal ease and precision. Hard to believe this is really a first full collection.'
- Jane Draycott
'Never once forbidding, the poems in The Multiverse still add up to something overwhelming. Wynn Owen's voice - unstrained, and pitched just this side of formality - emerges through prismatic formal shifts of poem after poem, making the book an exuberant expression of what Yeats called imagination's 'abounding glittering jet'. So completely attuned to the happy (and unhappy) accidents of experience and knowledge, these poems are far from accidental affairs, and their fixed and fluid shapes combine the prodigal verve of George Herbert's stanzas with a Byronic bounce and the unnerving authority of the young Auden or Lowell. This is poetry that shimmers and fizzes, but Wynn Owen's effortless superabundance, in imagery, style, and formal invention, concentrates rather than diffuses an undaunted, hyper-alert and profound sense of the world's weight.'
- Peter McDonald
'A remarkable display of formal dexterity through which a wide sweep of thought is captured.'
- Daljit Nagra'an Ashbery-like skill to impart the acerbic or casual aphorism where it's least expected'
Liam Bishop, Review 31
'Inspired, delighted, and exhausted me.'
- Richard Davenport-Hines
'Andrew Wynn Owen's virtuosic exploration of the variable resources of stanza form is a timely reminder (in a period of relative non-thinking in poetry) of all the ways in which the mind can engage with metrical language. These exhilarating poems bob, weave and dazzle in ways that we are used to in the best intellectual poets of the 17th century. And while Wynn Owen is unafraid to probe complex questions thrown up by science and philosophy, at the heart of his poetry is a redeeming and infectious love of life: above all, the poems in this big important book are lucid, eloquent and joyful.'
- John Fuller
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