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  • Published: 15 November 2022
  • ISBN: 9781787330313
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 80
  • RRP: $27.99
Categories:

Slide



The first collection from award-winning poet Mark Pajak

'Fresh, urgent, alive... genius.' Patience Agbabi

This assured and arresting first collection moves deftly and with purpose into private, hidden places - a locked shed, the dark of a battery farm, a murky riverbed, a late-night bar - to show, unflinchingly and in cinematic detail, what we might otherwise choose not to see. Sight is both a gift and curse, of course: given or taken away in poems of windows and curtains, torches and blindfolds, and yet here - following in the tradition of Oswald and Heaney - each image is freshly minted through a cool, objective eye.

Every poem seeks to inhabit those seemingly small but pivotal moments which have monumental, sometimes mortal, consequences. For Pajak, time is fluid: a blink can be 'slow as an eclipse', our lifetimes are fleeting, our deaths often lingering and seldom peaceful or painless.

Vivid and visceral, steadily examining violence, sexual encounters, childhood and ageing (a dying grandmother's 'slow pink eyelids, those quick teaspoon breaths'), cars and cities, and Nature - full of wonder and threat - Slide is always asking pertinent questions: illuminating brutality, frailty and tenderness, the responsibility of those who witness - whether voyeur, bystander or reader. This is a charged, beautifully observed and thrilling debut.

  • Published: 15 November 2022
  • ISBN: 9781787330313
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 80
  • RRP: $27.99
Categories:

Praise for Slide

In this chilling and tense collection, Mark Pajak takes us with him into the nettles, out on the dark country lane, to the dilapidated shed - holding us with his acute precision of imagery - so we become all too aware of that "long squeal" of violence under the poem's "fluttery lid". A visceral and vital debut.

Andrew McMillan

In this chilling and tense collection, Mark Pajak takes us with him into the nettles, out on the dark country lane, to the dilapidated shed - holding us with his acute precision of imagery - so we become all too aware of that "long squeal" of violence under the poem's "fluttery lid". A visceral and vital debut.

Andrew McMillan

Hands down a knockout debut, Slide isn't messing around. The poems have a live buzz and hum about them - everything is working to such precise and intense ends.

Paul Farley

Hands down a knockout debut, Slide isn't messing around. The poems have a live buzz and hum about them - everything is working to such precise and intense ends.

Paul Farley

Mark Pajak's skillful poems keep themselves open, especially to childhood and adolescent experience. Even so, they are far from frail - their insight and imaginative verve make them robust as well as eloquent.

Carol Ann Duffy

Mark Pajak's skillful poems keep themselves open, especially to childhood and adolescent experience. Even so, they are far from frail - their insight and imaginative verve make them robust as well as eloquent.

Carol Ann Duffy

I was stunned by these poems. Fresh, urgent, alive, awake, with such a strong visceral impact I couldn't sleep. Mark Pajak offers a high-res lens through which we share his vision of the suffering of children and animals. There is a fierce intelligence at play here, emotional, physical and cerebral. The combination is genius.

Patience Agbabi, author of THE INFINITE

I was stunned by these poems. Fresh, urgent, alive, awake, with such a strong visceral impact I couldn't sleep. Mark Pajak offers a high-res lens through which we share his vision of the suffering of children and animals. There is a fierce intelligence at play here, emotional, physical and cerebral. The combination is genius.

Patience Agbabi, author of THE INFINITE

Pajak's poetry is extreme, its subjects often united with elements and seasons... his stories' endings haunt the hearer like the close of a dark, irresistible song.

Alison Brackenbury

Pajak's poetry is extreme, its subjects often united with elements and seasons... his stories' endings haunt the hearer like the close of a dark, irresistible song.

Alison Brackenbury

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