Fear of Description

Daniel Poppick

£9.99

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Penguin Books Ltd
23 April 2020
ISBN: 9780141992679
Paperback

From the publisher

Told in woozy, narrative prose poems, the award-winning chronicle of a group of friends stumbling their way into 21st-century adulthood

'Genius . . . Keatsian in density and bloom'
Brenda Shaughnessy

'Poppick represents a slice of his generation . . . he lets himself delight in verbal unpredictability, when figures of speech jump out, or sparkle and shine' The New York Times Book Review

These poems tell the story of a generation in crisis: at odds with its own ideals, precariously (or just un-) employed, and absolutely terrified of seeing itself in the planet's future. Is our contemporary moment pure tragedy, or a dark joke? Can it be both?

Ranging between elegiac lyrics and autobiographical accounts of a group of poets moving from Iowa to Brooklyn in the years before and after the 2016 election, Fear of Description reinvigorates the prose poem, exploring the slippery terrain between grief and friendship, artifice and technology, writing and ritual, hauntings and obsessions - searching for joy in art but instead finding it in pitch darkness.

As the narrative cuts back and forth in time and circles around itself, the stories which begin to emerge in this remarkable book - of precarious employment, dead dogs speaking through Ouija boards and youthful brilliance cut short - explore at once the struggle to find one's place in the world, and the fear of being trapped once there.

'Through Poppick's memories we relive that brief window of youth when friendship is the magic audience that grounds us' Jennifer Moxley