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Not a Moment Too Soon

Frank Kuppner

Cover of Not a Moment Too Soon by Frank Kuppner
10% off all versions
Categories: 21st Century, British, Scottish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (144 pages)
(Pub. Apr 2024)
£12.99 £11.69
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(Pub. Apr 2024)
£10.39 £9.35
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  • Description
  • Author
  • Reviews
  • Frank Kuppner's new (eleventh) book consists of three long, hilarious, philosophical, existential sequences, 'The Liberating Vertigo of a Final Passage of Meaning', 'Not Quite the Greatest Story Never Told' and 'Not Quite a False Fresh Start Either'. Those 'not quites' are a keynote – what might have been and what actually is, the gap between being the space of the poem, its ironies, humour and wry heartbreak. The poems in the sequences are short, reminding us of his first book, A Bad Day for the Sung Dynasty, where short 'orientalising' forms were first perfected. 216 poems through the second sequence, he interrupts himself with, '[I have almost said enough.]' But that's just short of the half of it.

    'Points weaved together / to make myself' – these are the points of each poem, haiku or tanka or something else, the weave being uneven and richly suggestive. Words fill out unexpectedly, the ubiquitous Stars become Sta[i]rs. His subject matter is what lies beyond the window of his rented rooms. The world is an erotic and philosophical minefield. He is rather too fitful and feverish to relish it for what it is, what it might be or even what it might have been.
    Frank Kuppner was born in Glasgow in 1951. He has written eleven Carcanet collections. The first, A Bad Day for the Sung Dynasty, was awarded a Scottish Arts Council Book award in 1984. Second Best Moments in Chinese History received the same award in 1997. A novelist as well as ... read more
    'Kuppner has the capacity to state the obvious as if it were the most peculiar phenomenon... Kuppner truly is the laureate of the earnestly and charmingly bamboozled.'

    Stuart Kelly, The Scotsman

    Praise for Frank Kuppner    'Goodsir Smith, who drew from poetry from the Far East, shares Kuppner's nimble and fluid ability to code-switch and move from the sublime to the ridiculous in the space of a line or two. The difference is that Kuppner has managed to sustain this for the length of a book of some 120 pages, which is a feat to be marvelled at, and of course enjoyed.'
    Richie McCaffery, The Bottle Imp
    'He writes with the bemused urgency of someone who has only just noticed that nothing whatsoever makes any sense... Kuppner risks playing with bathos and sarcasm, outright silliness and sheer smut...'
    Sunday Herald
    'Kuppner's poetry invites us to reflect on human knowledge and the ineffable, trivial nature of existence; it is true philosophy. He makes us think about what it means to be alive.'
    The Independent 
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