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A break-up collection of great power and poignancy Shortlisted for the 2017 T. S. Eliot Prize PBS Autumn Recommendation

Shortlisted for the 2017 T. S. Eliot Prize
PBS Autumn Recommendation

The poems in James Sheard’s remarkable third book are about love and leaving, of how the rift of departure brings on a kind of haunting – of the people involved and the places where they lived – an emotional trace of departed lives and loves. This is what these poems are: the scars of separation, the spoors of desire. Sheard writes powerfully about loss, about how the vestiges of significance, of sensual heat, are retained by structures – in ghost towns, war-zones, deserted villages or resorts – but also by the human body and memory: ‘for love exists, and then is ruined, and then persists.’

These are poems about permanence and fragility, of being uncertain whether the house you live in is a shell, or if you have become a shell by living there – whether emptiness means loss and abandonment or a clean start and a new beginning. But these are also poems full of the ache of desire, the tart, lingering smell of sex: poems shaped by longing.

James Sheard is one of Britain’s most assured and precise lyric poets, and his third collection brings all his considerable strengths to poems as accurate and strange as thermal images.

Reviews

For at his best, James Sheard can be effortlessly moving, and clever – but not for the sake of it.

Rory Waterman, Times Literary Supplement

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9781910702475

    January 15, 2017

    Jonathan Cape

    64 pages

    RRP $27.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781473524248

    January 5, 2017

    Vintage Digital

    64 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by James Sheard

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A Sackful of Limericks
Odes
Selected Poems
Blue Laws
Of Love and Desire
Talking Dead
Made In Detroit
Deep Lane
Elegy For A Broken Machine
Meanjin First Edition
The Days of Surprise
Human Work