Blotter

Oli Hazzard

£9.99

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Carcanet Press Ltd
22 February 2018
ISBN: 9781784105303
Paperback

From the publisher

Oli Hazzard's Blotter consists of five sequences, each constructed using a different process. In `Graig Syfyrddin' notes on hillwalking in the Welsh marches - the poet's former home - alternate with found text taken from an online walking forum. `Blotter' is a shepherd's calendar of sonnets composed of Russian spambot script - a mix of lifestyle advice, gaming tips, authoritarian propaganda, bucolic fragments and apocalyptic messages. `Within Habit' is a series of prose poems collaged from numerous sources. `March and May' comprises parallel columns of verse. `Or As' is a family of 81 seventeen-syllable poems, each one an erasure of the corresponding page in a different book the poet was writing alongside Blotter. The poems are preoccupied, above all, with the passage of time, and how that passage can be differently registered or disturbed: the working day, the distorted seasons, the timestamp of a text message, the jottings of a daybook, the formal structure of a shepherd's calendar, the double exposure of a photograph, the reverse-flow of a Twitter feed. The title, Blotter, connects these concerns, suggesting at once a police blotter, a journal, a thing for drying wet spots, and, in its painterly connotation, a way of rendering the world in a manner that is vague, blurred, or out of focus.