SHORTLISTED FOR THE FELIX DENNIS PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST COLLECTION FORWARD POETRY PRIZES 2008
‘Los Alamos Mon Amour’ explodes in the heart of the desert and unleashes a chain reaction of intense, moving, erotic and often darkly comical poems. Marlon Brando, Saddam Hussein, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Queen Mother, Hannibal Lecter, and ri Gagarin wander through the blasted landscape encountering Italian wolves, Desert Orchid and the London Whale along the way.
Around a core of searing love poems, ‘Los Alamos Mon Amour’ embraces passion, nostalgia, fear and wonder. A lost parent inspires terror and compassion by turns; madness intrudes upon the mundane; and St. Paul’s Cathedral mutates in a sequence of bizarre love letters to Wren’s iconic masterpiece.
From traditional sonnets to a narrative constructed entirely from film poster taglines, the poems are formally and aesthetically restless, nosing around London, New York, Italy, and Yorkshire, watched over by the spirits of Lowell, Berryman, Hughes, Hitchcock, Mario Bava and Dario Argento.
The poems veer from the terrifying to the tender, the comic to the apocalyptic, the lustful to the philosophical, and the cosmic to the domestic — often within the same line. An energetic and entertaining new voice in contemporary poetry: profound and playful by turns.