In this new poetry collection, histories - both real and imagined - meet with astute present-day perceptions to create a richly layered portrait of contemporary life.
Andrew Motion's expansive new collection is built around two long poems that form its opening and close. The title poem, in a kaleidoscope of compelling scenes, engages with subjects that include migration, placement, loss, space exploration and current British and American politics. The more straightforwardly narrative poem, 'How Do the Dead Walk', while reaching back to immemorial stories of brutality, addresses issues of contemporary violence. The book is direct in its emotional appeal, ambitious in its scope, all the while retaining the cinematic vision and startling expression that so freshly lit the lines of his last, Essex Clay.
Andrew Motion was UK Poet Laureate from 1999 to 2009 and is co-founder of the online Poetry Archive. In 2015 he was appointed Homewood Professor in the Arts at Johns Hopkins University; he lives in Baltimore.