Scott Thurston - Hold


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Scott Thurston - Hold

Paperback, 116pp, 8.5x5.5ins

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Hold is Scott Thurston's first book-length collection, and covers ten years of work, which have for some time now needed collecting. This is work which owes a lot to the tradition of innovative and experimental poetry in Britain and the USA, but which also sends out feelers in other directions. A radical but communicative poetry.

"Scott Thurston's writing enlists its readers in a struggle through language. Words are isolated, broken up, placed in apposition and opposition — 'rose catalogue mines', 'snatched derivatives wing'. Phrases are coined, obscure yet assonantly catchily — 'slack star charts and starts', 'you back into pack your surround sound'. Scenes are persistently set — domestic interiors, urban observations—yet never stay stolidly stable — from a warped yet recognisable scenario, Thurston flips us back onto the snowy slopes of a language with which we must renew our acquaintance. A phrase changes its referential direction halfway across—'several points northern direct trading co.'—but the world is still with us — thought 'pulses like a minor motor way'. Here too are the tones of gallant lyric, embattled romance, and the study of objects—'a bucket / of sand marked fire', or a new water-bottle. Signs and selves are alike remade in Thurston's workshop." (Joe Brooker)

"There is an inviting richness of association in Thurston's title that is at once encouraging and puzzling—and that stands for his poetry, too. […] Furthermore, Thurston's first full-length collection is the result of ten years' work and incorporates not only his hellishly difficult (but nonetheless rewarding) linguistically innovative stuff, but also his beautiful, lyrical meditations on selfhood which are powerful and well-crafted. […] 'Rescale', a series of 30 prose poems is stunning, taking in the sound-associations of Sheila E. Murphy and the philosophical abstractions of Ashbery and Creeley and doing the whole thing pretty damn well. […] As in the title, there is a generosity of association to Thurston's conjoined phrases and word-salad that outstrips many of his contemporaries." —Luke Kennard, Stride

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