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Fur Coats in Tahiti
RRP: GBP 7.99
ISBN: 978 1 784107 66 6
Categories: 21st Century, British, Humour
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: July 2019
128 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (Kindle), Paperback, eBook (EPUB)
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Fur Coats in Tahiti is a cocktail of borrowed forms and modes from Dada, Surrealism, Fluxus, the OuLiPo, the Vienna Group and the New York school. There are scissor snips and slips of the tongue and eye in a sequence of word and image compositions derived from an Edwardian illustrated dictionary. Elsewhere there are childlike, and plain childish, oral and aural pleasures to be had with bananas, cherries and Slobodan Živojinovic; tahini and Petroc Trelawny. The book begins with 'O', an openmouthed astonishment at nativity, and ends, not with Z but, in the hope of further connection, with the twenty-seventh letter of the alphabet: '&'.
It is this nothing offered that makes such a rewarding read, because it leads to destinations unknown, a restless, constantly moving walk after not knowledge, but illumination, the unexpected relationship between word and word that opens a window to the world. It is, I realise as I write, a kind of Dada Zen book; what more can I say?
'They also seem magical. Like magic words, or Latin mass: more powerful for all its uncertainty.'
Joe Darlington, Manchester Review of Books
'Joyous panoplies of alphabets warble, blossom and assemble into word songs made simultaneously stately and playful here in Fur Coats in Tahiti. Folklore and plainsong play with Stein and then Whitman comes over, inviting so many alphabetic others to join in: Wordsworth via Jandl via Atkins via Ono via You makes something entirely new! Over's marvelous word worlds mesh and refresh all our delights in loving thinking musics of sound, sense and nonce. Slip on this luxurious garment of a book where the language weather is always perfect.'
Lee Ann Brown 'In Fur Coats in Tahiti, Jeremy Over exuberantly defies expectations. These poems rollick as they explore relationships between sound and sense, interweave the surreal and the mundane, and conduct whimsical, unpredictable journeys. The work teems with intelligence and delight.'
'I am in love with the new collection by Jeremy Over, building as it does on the work of his first two books with so much style and grace. The poems are in thrall to the magic of the image, exquisite timing and exuberant ambivalence. Which latter, for me, articulates exactly why dull certainties and conciliatory platitudes tend to sail over my head. Over's is a poetry of endless curiosity and intellectual generosity, inviting us to wander and wonder with the writer. The long poems and sequences capture a quality of musical improvisation, but the attention is pulled back, again and again, by unexpected lyrical detail; as if distraction (by beauty, by stupidity, by wonder) were the only true method. And it is.'
Praise for Jeremy Over 'A restless experimenter and game-player with language'
Ian McMillan, The Reader
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