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81 Austerities

81 Austerities

Last 2 in stock
ISBN
9780571289035
Published
02/08/2012
9780571289035
Format
Paperback
Price
£10.99
Paperback
128

About the Book

All three-dimensional objects can be experienced in two dimensions: it just takes some careful unpicking of the seams. Witty, comic, plaintive, touching, acerbic, droll, cavalier, caffeinated, irreverent, stringent: Austerities, the mind-altering substantial debut from Sam Riviere, seems to achieve the impossible in being all things at once. Initially conceived as a response to the 'austerity measures' implemented by the coalition government in 2011, the poems quickly began taking on a life in kind: 'cutting' themselves on levels of sentiment, structure and even subject matter. Not content to merely build a series of freethinking poems, these remarkable pieces seem eagerly and mischievously to analyze their moment of creation, then weigh their worth, then consign their excess to the recycling bin thereafter. Experience is speedy, the poems seem to say, so dizzyingly fast that the poetry will inevitably be running to catch up - often arriving at a scene the moment after the moment has gone. The effect is as funny and it is startling, beguiling as it is surprising, and makes Austerities a vivid reminder that deprivation, as Leonard Cohen put it, can be the mother of poetry.
All three-dimensional objects can be experienced in two dimensions: it just takes some careful unpicking of the seams. Witty, comic, plaintive, touching, acerbic, droll, cavalier, caffeinated, irreverent, stringent: Austerities, the mind-altering substantial debut from Sam Riviere, seems to achieve the impossible in being all things at once. Initially conceived as a response to the 'austerity measures' implemented by the coalition government in 2011, the poems quickly began taking on a life in kind: 'cutting' themselves on levels of sentiment, structure and even subject matter. Not content to merely build a series of freethinking poems, these remarkable pieces seem eagerly and mischievously to analyze their moment of creation, then weigh their worth, then consign their excess to the recycling bin thereafter. Experience is speedy, the poems seem to say, so dizzyingly fast that the poetry will inevitably be running to catch up - often arriving at a scene the moment after the moment has gone. The effect is as funny and it is startling, beguiling as it is surprising, and makes Austerities a vivid reminder that deprivation, as Leonard Cohen put it, can be the mother of poetry.
  • Sam Riviere

    Sam Riviere is the author of the poetry collections 81 Austerities (2012), winner of the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and Kim Kardashian’s Marriage (2015), as well as numerous limited-edition titles. He runs the micropublisher If a Leaf Falls Press.

“The spectre of the creative writing industry, and its commodification of poetry, looms large. One of the disturbing and brilliant things about Riviere is that he is simultaneously a product of this world and exactly the scabrous heretic it needs.”
- David Wheatley, Poetry London
“81 Austerities has a wry, sardonic touch, with, however, an underlying power that signals a gifted new voice.”
- Edna O'Brien, Guardian, Books of the Year

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