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Blood Feather: ‘He writes with Proustian élan and Nabokovian delight’ John Banville

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They deal in the insubstantial and the incorporeal, but also in those things that remain with us, elusively.

Blood Feather by Patrick McGuinness - nation.cymru Review: Blood Feather by Patrick McGuinness - nation.cymru

He currently lives in Oxford and in Wales teaching French and Comparative Literature at St Anne's College, Oxford. Grief is not the only theme here, but also the places that are like grief, which also tend to be those places haunted by something or someone. The image that gives the volume its title and is itself the title of one of the poems – ‘ Blood Feather’ – seems to contain a guiding principle: a pigeon hits a window, makes a sound, presumably causes some commotion, or maybe simply slips away again, and leaves ‘a ghost against the glass’ which remains, for now, until ‘the next rain against the window’.The poems themselves seem slightly surprised by their existence, as if given half a chance, they might remove themselves from the page. Emerging from the queer visionary tradition of Whitman and Ginsberg, the cornerstone of CAConrad’s practice is a series of rituals and instructions which their readers are invited to share in: “Sit outside under shelter of a doorway … where you can easily touch, smell, taste, FEEL the storm.

BBC Radio 3 - The Verb, The Secret Lives of Women BBC Radio 3 - The Verb, The Secret Lives of Women

Elsewhere, Laird cracks open the poetry of sensitivity to reveal a raw sense of politics and injustice “as the rich get richer and the poor get fucked”.At the centre of the collection nests another collection, attributed to the invented song collector AE Pious, of lost Irish drinking jigs: “If living is dying, / If singing is sighing, / If kicking pricks is tricky, / Try living in Kilnicky!

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