Thursday 21 May 2020

Blog Tour ~ Death Magazine by Matthew Haigh

Delighted to be part of this poetry blog tour today

Salt Publishing
15 June 2019

Death Magazine is a neutropian vision of our soundbite, snippet-obsessed, digital and print magazine culture. It employs the Dadaist technique of cut-up to produce poems that range from the blackly comic to the surreal, from the nonsensical to the prescient.

Many of the poems confine themselves to the precise aesthetics of magazine columns, doing away with line breaks entirely to find new meaning in their Modernist forms. Added to the mix are a range of free verse poems more traditional in form. This monster hybrid of styles, of fact and fiction, aims to replicate the untrustworthy, hyperbolic stream of media that absorbs our lives every day.

This radical work creates a futuristic landscape of human emotion as product – a pink, shattered diamond refracting our chaotic times.

What did I think about it..

This unconventional collection of verse seems particularly appropriate for the time in which we are living and the poems which make up the six sections of the collection are unusual and thought provoking in equal measure.

The sections are set out like a contemporary magazine format...

  • Features
  • Fitness
  • Lifestyle
  • Beauty
  • Wellness 
  • Advice

Each section explores a selection of themes which together make up the eponymous magazine of the title bringing together hard hitting explorations of the way that we inhabit our world and, in doing so, pushes back boundaries.

Some of the prose and poems I enjoyed more than others, I found the Fitness section particularly intriguing with its close up look at male celebrities and their often complicated lifestyles. And even though the majority of poems are modernist and stark there is still beauty to be found in the use of language.

From the poem: We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives inside the dream..  "He thinks of silver balloons lost to cornflower-blue skies, scarlet smoke spewed by the jet planes at airfield displays.."

At first glance I read through the collection quickly, becoming acquainted with the poet's writing style and the way the rhythm of the language helped to create the necessary pictures in my head. After the first read through I slowed down and my reading became more considered in order to understand what the author wanted to express and the meaning and relevance to our society today.

Quirky and different, thought provoking and mentally stimulating, the neutropian quality of the poetry in Death Magazine seems to be an entirely appropriate choice for our current lock down situation.

Twitter @MattHaighPoetry #DeathMagazine




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