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About the book
  • Published: 2 August 2018
  • ISBN: 9781473562370
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 80

playtime




The prize-winning poet’s brilliant second collection

**SHORTLISTED FOR THE POLARI PRIZE 2019**
‘Vivid, accessible and honest, sometimes uncomfortably so’ Alan Bennett, London Review of Books

In these intimate, sometimes painfully frank poems, Andrew McMillan takes us back to childhood and early adolescence to explore the different ways we grow into our sexual selves and our adult identities. Examining our teenage rites of passage: those dilemmas and traumas that shape us – eating disorders, masturbation, loss of virginity – the poet examines how we use bodies, both our own and other people’s, to chart our progress towards selfhood.

McMillan’s award-winning debut collection, physical, was praised for a poetry that was tight and powerful, raw and tender, and playtime expands that narrative frame and widens the gaze. Alongside poems in praise of the naivety of youth, there are those that explore the troubling intersections of violence, masculinity, class and sexuality, always taking the reader with them towards a better understanding of our own physicality. ‘isn’t this what human kind was made for’, McMillan asks in one poem, ‘telling stories learning where the skin/is most in need of touch’. These humane and vital poems are confessions, both in the spiritual and personal sense; they tell us stories that some of us, perhaps, have never found the courage to read before.

  • Pub date: 2 August 2018
  • ISBN: 9781473562370
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 80

About the Author

Andrew McMillan

Andrew McMillan’s debut, physical, was the first poetry collection to win the Guardian First Book Award; it also won a Somerset Maugham Award, an Eric Gregory Award, a Northern Writers’ Award and the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. It was shortlisted for numerous others including the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Costa Poetry Award, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. He is a senior lecturer at the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Praise for playtime

“[An] equally page-turning second collection… McMillan is 30, but writes with the melancholy understatement for an older writer… McMillan’s pared-back style puts great weight on each word, often with magnetic results… McMillan wears his influences on his sleeve – Thom Gunn, Sharon Olds’s explicit Odes, a flicker of Book of Matches-era Simon Armitage – yet brings them together in a voice that is confident, captivating and distinctly his own… Any fans of physical worrying how McMillan could top one of the most widely praised debuts of recent years should breathe a sigh of relief: playtime may be a quieter collection, but it’s a deeper, richer one too.”

Tristram Fane Saunders, Telegraph **Poetry Book of the Month**

“Andrew McMillan’s second collection, playtime, is every bit as impressive as his first, physical… He seems attuned to the world around him and he has a sly sense of humour at his command. He is more than promising now.”

Paul Bailey, Literary Review

“[In playtime] McMillan makes it clear that the poetics of physical wasn’t a one-off. As with all the best second outings, this collection firmly establishes his patent… [a] fully realised, deeply humane collection.”

Sarah Crown, Guardian

“McMillan scrutinises the violent idealism of masculinity in monologues that are both tender and steely… told with courage, invention and charm.”

Jeremy Noel-Tod, Sunday Times, **Books of the Year**

“Andrew McMillan's award-winning debut collection, physical, a raw and tender exploration of gay love and desire, heralded him as a new force in contemporary poetry. This, his second book, only cements that reputation... these poems are insightful, revealing, honest and brutally tender.”

attitude

“playtime is admirably devoted to intimacies and it has a tenderness to it even in its most private of moments... This is a triumphant collection of poems.”

Elaine Cosgrove, Totally Dublin

“By returning to familiar ground and deepening his engagement with it, McMillan makes clear that the poetics of physical wasn’t a one-off. As with all the best second outings, this collection firmly establishes his patent… [a] fully realised, deeply humane collection.”

Sarah Crown, Guardian

“Vivid, accessible and honest, sometimes uncomfortably so.”

Alan Bennett, London Review of Books

“An unobstructed exploration of an important subject. McMillan is writing not only see-through but see-beyond poetry.”

Kate Kellaway, Observer


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