Hazel Smith’s new poetry collection engages in a direct way with contemporary political and social issues – civil war and the flight of populations, oppressive regimes and the disappearance of dissidents, the unpredictable effects of climate change – relating these issues to the personal experience of death and dementia, abuse and disability and childlessness. The poems project intense psychological states of indecisiveness, anxiety, disorientation and guilt, making use of surreal conjunctions and metaphor to dramatise the sense of unease. Smith is a new media artist and musician, and the poems employ a variety of techniques drawn from these fields, flourishes of linguistic coloratura, the evocation of virtual realities, cutting and pasting from the internet, remixing, sampling and quotation, to drive home their effects.
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