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  • Published: 15 June 2018
  • ISBN: 9781787330856
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 64
  • RRP: $19.99
Categories:

Assurances



A compelling multi-layered narrative set in the early years of the Cold War from the award-winning Scottish poet.

**WINNER OF THE COSTA POETRY AWARD 2018****SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 FORWARD PRIZE FOR BEST COLLECTION**

A war-poem both historic and frighteningly topical, Assurances begins in the 1950s during a period of vigilance and dread in the middle of the Cold War: the long stand-off between nuclear powers, where the only defence was the threat of mutually assured destruction.

Using a mix of versed and unversed passages, Morgan places moments of calm reflection alongside the tensions inherent in guarding against such a permanent threat. A work of variations and possibilities, we hear the thoughts of those involved who are trying to understand and justify their roles. We examine the lives of civilians who are not aware of the impending danger, as well as those who are. We listen to the whirring minds of machines; to the voice of the bomb itself. We spy on enemy agents: always there, always somewhere close at hand.

Assurances is an intimate, dramatic work for many voices: lyrical, anxious, fragmentary and terrifying; a poem about the nuclear stalemate, the deterrent that is still in place today: how it works and how it might fail, and what will vanish if it does.

  • Published: 15 June 2018
  • ISBN: 9781787330856
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 64
  • RRP: $19.99
Categories:

About the author

J. O. Morgan

J. O. Morgan lives in Scotland. He is the author of six previous books, each a single, book-length poem. His last work, Assurances (2018), won the Costa Poetry Award and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize. Natural Mechanical (2009) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and won the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. His 2016 work, InterferencePattern, was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize.

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Praise for Assurances

I seriously doubt I will read a more significant book of poetry this year. The finale is truly affecting, a plangent and profound speck of light.

Stuart Kelly, Scotsman

[JO Morgan's] remarkable new book Assurances [is] a gripping narrative poem.

Tristram Fane Saunders, Telegraph

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