Obligate Carnivore

Stuart McPherson


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Broken Sleep Books
31 August 2022
ISBN: 9781915079336
92 pages

From the publisher

Obligate Carnivore is an immaculate introduction to Stuart McPherson’s poetry. Painted in the jagged brushstrokes of wounded masculinity and childhood trauma, McPherson excavates new darkness. The haunted images – wolves, corpses, moons and abattoirs  - are not only vessels for McPherson’s poems, but form part of an internal nightmare logic, creatures of the hell McPherson is trying to escape from. Writing, which as Barthes wrote: “is the destruction of every voice, of every point of origin.”

PRAISE for Obligate Carnivore:

Stuart McPherson’s perilous mixture of vulnerability and concealment—like 90s grunge played on one of Cage’s prepared pianos—elicits emotions I didn’t know I possessed. “Something trapped within the hazelnut of its dried open eyes.” I want to crawl in among McPherson’s lines (“A concertina / of rotting cells / strung together”) and behold them, be held by them. Obligate Carnivore is a brutally gorgeous debut. — Jaydn DeWald, The Rosebud Variations

McPherson has crafted a poetic landscape in which the reader is compelled to travel within. It’s a landscape to be felt and heard, a place where one might find solace. The poems in Obligate Carnivore are like the sound of blood in the ears; it’s a poetry of loss and desire, one that asks of us: “What if we’re more like animals than humans?” I am haunted, mesmerized by the landscape that McPherson paints, the poems he lays open, and feel as though I want to take what’s left. — U. G. Világos, The Lark Sings Wind

Stuart McPherson’s poems gnaw away at our domestic bones until all that’s left is the sticky detritus of violence, trauma, and the thing we call love. Obligate Carnivore is a wonderful debut collection by a welcome new voice in British poetry. — Daniele Pantano, Home for Difficult Children