Mark Scroggins: Red Arcadia
Published 15 February 2012
Paperback, 80pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $15
Download a sample PDF from this book here.
The poems of Red Arcadia present a jittery, spasmodic—often obscured—series of moving x-ray images of contemporary culture in its frenetic contradictions, its self-destructiveness, and sometimes in its moments of fractured sublimity; a wobbly digicam portrait of the bewildered, mournful, and sometimes bemused subject caught in the rush of sounds and images, scrabbling through the levels of the city's palimpset/midden, checking his watch for the arrival of some heroic Captain Modernism.
"Mark Scroggins practices a literature of contained excess, drawn from the welter of experience and its reflexive twin, theory. His poetry combines Benjaminian and Zukofskyan author functions, disclosing the cultural logics of distributed financialization through the method of materialist inversion. As it turns out, these condensed surfaces are identical to the ages' insights insofar as we could ever hope to live them. Consonantal lushness, vocalic variation, beautiful lineation, sublime contradiction are the predominant features of Scroggins’s perverse constructivism. Poetry is thereby redeemed in its damaged finality." —Barrett Watten
"These sharp-eyed, sharp-tongued poems register damage, reading commodities or movies for us, out there in shopping malls or imaginary museums. They resolutely think through the world, half-scratched mordant footnotes to our political realities. They offer small consolation. This neatly organised book presents a poetry of ideas, then, but concocted by an intelligence unusually passionate, raw nerve-endings tingling with 57 varieties of ersatz. Mark Scroggins' ventriloquy— knowing, ironical, satirical—is the book's singular pleasure, its delicate likeness chiming in our ears with delight." —Robert Sheppard
"Reader, beware—Mark Scroggins' Red Arcadia is a pit-bull of a book, and it will have you by the leg before you've even started to run. Its anger is as outrageous as Swift's or William Burroughs'. Its idiom veers from Thersites to Cassandra and back, while some passages are so far over the top that the top can't any longer be seen. This is public poetry that deserves a public. A ferocious book asking for 'No more poems / as consolation' but rather 'the poem as damage.' it happens to be written by the man who is also our best Zukofsky scholar, so we might expect—and we do in fact get—a book that, with all its compelled intensities, is also feast of language and invention." —John Matthias
UK trade orders via Bertrams Books or Gardners Books.
US trade orders via Ingrams or Baker & Taylor.
Please support your local bookshop by ordering Shearsman titles from them. If you prefer to order online, use the following links:
Order from the Shearsman online store
Order from amazon.co.uk
Order from The Book Depository
Order from amazon.com
Order from Barnes and Noble.com (USA)
Order from Small Press Distribution (USA)