Ali Lewis will be reading from his new book, Absence. It is a book about nothing. Or nothings: losses, vacua, gaps. From the desolation at the heat-death of the universe to the impassable distance between two people talking, and from the trust exercise of walking in darkness to experiments on the vacuum, Absence searches for what’s missing and what we never had.
Starting with the problem of how to represent that that isn’t there, and ending with the end of love, Absence takes in the ache for a vanished god, the permanently delayed doomsday of millenarian cults, and the overflowing life inside our seemingly empty buckets and stomachs. Wonderfully off-kilter, this witty, sometimes dark collection depicts the absurd in the everyday, the sudden upsetting of what is considered normal.
Ali was Associate Editor of Poetry London. He frequently collaborates with composers and settings of his work have featured on Radio Three and Radio France Musique.
Abigail Parry‘s I Think We’re Alone Now was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. It was supposed to be a book about intimacy: what it might look like in solitude, in partnership, and in terms of collective responsibility. Instead, the poems are preoccupied with pop music, etymology, surveillance equipment and cervical examination, church architecture and beetles. Just about anything, in fact, except what intimacy is or looks like.
So this is a book that runs on failure, and also a book about failures: of language to do what we want, of connection to be meaningful or mutual, and of the analytic approach to say anything useful about what we are to one another. Here are abrupt estrangements and errors of translation, frustrations and ellipses, failed investigations. And beetles.
You can watch a preview of Abigail’s reading here: www.bloodaxebooks.com/ecs/product/i-think-we-re-alone-now-1334
Bookings are closed for this event.