Alasdair Paterson - On the Governing of Empires


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Alasdair Paterson - On the Governing of Empires

Paperback, 96pp, 8.5x5.5ins

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Finding Kristallnacht in an optician's chart, flushing heresy from a Michelin guide, procuring princesses courtesy of furnishings catalogues and constructing a guided tour of Bedlam from the names of British moths, Alasdair Paterson brings a Byzantine range of techniques — cut-and-mosaic, palimpsest dialectic, diplomatic transplant and induced mutation — to a series of innocent texts, most without a prior thought of poetry in their heads, to build an indispensible vademecum for the imperially and post-imperially inclined.

"We need stories. They, in whatever form, are — inexplicably — how we navigate this world we share, how we talk to one another. Alasdair Paterson, ace storyteller, shows us that poems can be stories that catch us, and pull us back again and again." —Lee Harwood

"A comeback from the poet who began his career with a rumble in Douanier Rousseau's jungle was always on the cards. And Alasdair Paterson has lost none of his wit and verve during his twenty-year absence from the ring; he retains the qualities that marked him out from the start as a poetry heavyweight — an individual and unfailing eye for pertinent and tangential detail combined with an ear perfectly attuned to the musical potentialities of language. Add to this the wealth of experience behind Paterson's poetic punch and these poems are hard to resist; they draw the reader into a network of definitions and undefinitions, feinting and shadow-boxing with possible narratives. Underplayed menace, humour, and nuanced combinations of original and collaged texts are layered here with consummate skill and emotional power; this is the real deal — poetry that floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee." —Nathan Thompson

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