A Modest Apocalypse
PREORDER. Ships 10 February, 2017.
Hassan Melehy's debut collection is a blistering retort to the Eisenhower America that drove his literary heroes half-mad, expressed in a taut, sometimes furious, savage lyricism of a man born with a Arab name at a time of growing hate. Exploring sexual desire, love, literary taste, and diving into the franco-American lingo of Kerouac, this is a discomfiting, passionate, and original expression of the Beat world for a 21st century in need of voices of protest.
Melehy has lived all over the United States and traveled extensively in Europe. His poems have appeared in The Hat, Nthposition, Borderlands, Redheaded Stepchild, and The New Formalist, among other journals. He has written three books of literary criticism, most recently Kerouac: Language, Poetics, and Territory (Bloomsbury). He teaches French and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.
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Illicit Sonnets – a bawdy modern reboot of Sonnets from the Portuguese – tells of the love between Salim and Laila, an “elderessa”. Their highly-sexed romance, bridging cultures, generations and seas, is unfolded in poetry as sparkling and as shameless as champagne.
'A new discovery for me was Canadian poet George Elliott Clarke's, Illicit Sonnets, published over here by the tiny Eyewear Press – a good present if you wish to remind your other half that middle-aged or elderly people still have sex.' Louise Doughty, The Observer
'It's a tonic to come across a distinctly erotic book of poetry. George Elliot Clarke’s Illicit Sonnets is just that... Clarke wallows in an exuberant, exaggerated poetry, owing something to Gerald Manley Hopkins and to John Berryman – while the sequence recalls George Meredith’s Modern Sonnets. Sprung versification, alliteration, puns and archaisms proliferate, and the general tone, appropriately enough, is ejaculatory.' Anthony Howells, Fortnightly Review
George Elliott Clarke (1960) is descended from African-American refugees from the War of 1812, who escaped to the British and were relocated to Nova Scotia, where he was born. He is one of the most popular Canadian poets. He has won The Governor General''s Award for Poetry in 2001 for Execution Poems. His classic verse-novel, Whylah Falls (1990) was selected in the CBC’s national poll, Canada Reads, in 2002. He now teaches African-Canadian literature — a field that he pioneered — at the University of Toronto. In 2013-14 he will be a visiting professor at Harvard University. He is Poet Laureate of Canada.
Praise for George Elliott Clarke’s Previous Works
“Clarke carries his words from our heads to our hearts to that gut feeling we all get when we have heard a devastating truth.” — Nikki Giovanni
“Rough, uncompromising and ultimately heartbreaking.” —The Times
“This formidably crafted recreation of a desperate episode should win widespread acclaim.” — The Independent