Paul Muldoon
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ISBN 9780571269259 Format Hardback
Published 07/10/2010 Length 128 pages

About Book

In his eleventh full-length collection, Paul Muldoon reminds us that he is a traditional poet who is steadfastly at odds with tradition.

If the poetic sequence is the main mode of Maggot, it certainly isn’t your father’s poetic sequence. Taking as a starting point W. B. Yeats’s remark that the only fit topics for a serious mood are ‘sex and the dead', Muldoon finds unexpected ways of thinking and feeling about what it means to come to terms with the early twenty-first century.

It’s no accident that the centrepiece of Maggot is an outlandish meditation on a failed poem that draws on the vocabulary of entomological forensics. The last series of linked lyrics, meanwhile, takes as its ‘subject’ the urge to memorialize the scenes of fatal car accidents.

The extravagant linkage of rot and the erotic is at the heart of not only the title-sequence but many of the round-songs that characterize Maggot and has led Angela Leighton, writing in the TLS , to see these new poems (on their earlier appearance in Plan B, an interim volume which included several of the poems in Maggot) as giving readers ‘a thrilling, wild, fairground ride, with few let-ups for the squeamish.’

  • About Paul Muldoon

    Paul Muldoon was born in County Armagh in 1951. He read English at Queen's University, Belfast, and published his first collection of poems, New Weather, in 1973. He is the author of ten books of poetry, including Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), for which he received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and Horse Latitudes (2006). Since 1987 he has lived in the United States, where he is the Howard G. B. Clark Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University. From 1999 to 2004 he was Professor of Poetry at Oxford University. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Paul Muldoon was given an American Academy of Arts and Letters award in 1996. Other recent awards include the 1994 T. S. Eliot Prize, the 1997 Irish Times Poetry Prize, and the 2003 Griffin Prize.

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