I Think We're Alone Now
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From the publisher
Shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2023
I Think We’re Alone Now was supposed to be a book about intimacy: what it might look like in solitude, in partnership, and in terms of collective responsibility. Instead, the poems are preoccupied with pop music, etymology, surveillance equipment and cervical examination, church architecture and beetles. Just about anything, in fact, except what intimacy is or looks like.
So this is a book that runs on failure, and also a book about failures: of language to do what we want, of connection to be meaningful or mutual, and of the analytic approach to say anything useful about what we are to one another. Here are abrupt estrangements and errors of translation, frustrations and ellipses, failed investigations. And beetles.
I Think We’re Alone Now is Abigail Parry's second collection. Her first collection, Jinx (Bloodaxe Books, 2018), was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2018 and the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Poetry Prize 2019.
'In Abigail Parry’s second collection, every aperture is haunted. These poems limn the spaces between vertigo and hyperextension, drawing then rethreading the needle through sites of forgetfulness and failure: are you unsure you heard that right? Listen again, Parry’s speakers exhort, scraping tines into the grooves of torch songs, scattering speculums and stereotaxic rats into the pages. What the poet pursues, and enacts through a formally blistering surgery of poetics, is nothing less than the upward ruination of the everyday: nothing exists that cannot be unspooled, unknotted, blasted open, wired shut. The body of this work promises blood, and brutality, and ridiculousness, plus every mistake anyone has ever made fletched through with gold. Run into its pages with every weapon you possess. None of them will be enough to keep you unmarked for good.' – Shivanee Ramlochan