Music's Duel - New and Selected Poems

Gavin Selerie


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Shearsman Books
5 April 2009
ISBN: 9781848610033
328 pages

From the publisher

"Music's Duel" gathers work from across the Gavin Selerie's career, combining major sequences or extracts with a range of less available material, some previously unpublished. Placed together for the first time, these texts form an extended record of self and world, their focus twisting to reflect thought and language process. From a complex weave the book yields clarity and beauty, as in the treatment of landscape, death and desire. It is possible to see a development from heady, romantic pastoral to more satirical, closely-wrought urban texts, although continuities of concern and technique are evident. Distinguished by metaphysical wit and wordplay, Selerie's poetry excites both ear and eye. Genres and devices are torqued so as to enable the lyric tradition to operate within a fragmented sound and social context. Born in London, Selerie has long been involved with the city's network of experimental writing and performance. His charting of territory has parallels with that undertaken by Iain Sinclair, Bill Griffiths and Allen Fisher, and this exploration, through an overlay of voices, fuses past and present in a distinctly different way.Gritty, brash terms jostle with more polished expression, while jumbled syntax retains elements of fluent discourse. Awareness of the poem as construct tempers but does not erase an emotional base which drives the areas of engagement.