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A Few Interiors
RRP: GBP 7.99
ISBN: 978 1 784107 38 3
Categories: 21st Century, British, First Collections
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: May 2019
64 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (Kindle), Paperback, eBook (EPUB)
Full of playful glitches and malfunctions, this debut collection from an alumnus of Carcanet’s New Poetries series and a recent favourite in the pages of PN Review is a poetry of misses and near-misses, distortions and uncertainties. The poems capture a feeling of déjà vu, a sense of something not quite right, out of place, though hard to put your finger on. They are filled with pop-cultural references and registers, responding with a collagist’s eye to music, painting, photography, television and film. Frequently funny and even more frequently fun, Bagnall’s poems cut across continents, memories, dreams and rooms.
'There's a kind of deadpan humour in much of this work, in part achieved by the tension Bagnall creates...Some of the lines are hilarious.'
Simon Collings, Stride Magazine
'Bagnall's narrator is ongoing in spite of the weight of cultural references.'
Emma Desphande, The London Magazine
'There's a breathtaking precision with which Bagnall negotiates the inner life and lives of himself, of those around him and of his readers. Images and ideas loop and modulate, the world and its ideas are questioned and interpreted with with wit and deep attention. And if the tone is often melancholy and searching - yearning for some deeper connection and spiralling through art, film, translation and missed connections - I frequently laughed, I re-read poems out loud, I went outside and read them again. And what's going to keep me doing so indefinitely is the poet's defiant and hard-won sense of wonder.'
'A beautiful and eerie book, A Few Interiors tells us what it is like to feel the outlines of personhood becoming 'vaguer and vaguer'. It's no longer the 'sudden lapse in concentration' so much as the sudden lapse into concentration that unnerves, 'like only realising that someone has left a room when they re-enter it'. These poems move from memory to disaster to artwork to movie to prayer in an uncannily frictionless manner, while reminding us of the possibility that none of this has actually happened, or that we've 'seen it all before, only / in passing or in blinding light'. These hallucinatory and funny poems remain stalled, anxiously and hopefully, 'mid-brushstroke': the moment upon which everything depends, 'like the moment between knowing you might nearly jump / and actually nearly jumping'.'
Oli Hazzard, author of Blotter
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