Damian Furniss: Chocolate Che
Published 2 April 2010
Paperback, 101pp, 9x6ins, £8.95 / $15
The poems in Chocolate Che were written in Cuba in the fiftieth year of the revolution; in India working with dying destitutes and recovering from tuberculosis; travelling up and down the spine of the Americas and into the heart of Europe on the trail of soldiers, artists and monks.
Damian Furniss works images into narratives that are both darkly humorous and strangely moving. Using forms as varied as their subjects, with characteristic verbal intensity and a probing wit, he returns to the fixations of his youth in wry but reflective maturity. Along the way, he encounters the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa; visits the houses of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí, only to find no one's at home; and collects the stubs of cigars that might once have been smoked by Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, but probably weren't.
Praise for his chapbook, The Duchess of Kalighat, several poems from which are included in this, his first full collection:
"Furniss explores India in many varied and astonishing images . .
. no poet of promise but a poet of arrival."
— Derrick Woolf, Poetry Quarterly Review
"The fire in the poetry roars. In this book the subject is hot and so is the language." — Tim Allen, Terrible Work
"This has a vitality all of its own." —Brian Hinton, Tears in the Fence
"Has strong convictions and a clearly defined sense of purpose. These are moving, transforming poems." —Emma Neale, Scratch
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