“Flesh” by Paul Stubbs (reviewed by Paul Sutton)

“Challenging concepts, developed into a project-length exploration. A rarity in contemporary poetry; even the experimental scene is patchier in these than it should be. Paul Stubbs’ poetry is full of such ambition–pursued with a terrifying metaphysical and theological energy. It comes from an almost forgotten (and intensely unfashionable) idea of poetry as the threshold, the outer limit, for linguistic exploration of self and existence. The war-zone between transcendence and decay: metaphysical, ontological, eschatological. (…) The usual English comparisons simply don’t apply. No post-ironic surrealism, no still-born ‘experiments in form’, no drip-dry epiphanies by tremulous yet sickly seers. Even Hill seems less intense – almost anecdotal – in comparison. It may sound absurd, but Milton is the only English reference I can make – even then, there’s no narrative element in Stubbs. But the poem’s almost symphonic opening reminded me of Lucifer’s (and co-conspirators’) devastated awakening, the stumbling slow dawn of the fallen angels.”

 (Paul Sutton, Stride Magazine)

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Paul Stubbs

introduction by Ingrid Soren
Black Herald Press, May 2013
130×170 – 54 pages – 10 € / £ 8.50 / $13
ISBN  978-2-919582-05-1

Order the book / Commander l’ouvrage

Oh Welcome Complexity

A review of Blandine Longre’s CLARITIES by Paul Sutton, for Stride Magazine.

“The usual point of reference for this sort of corporeal (and feminised) writing would be Plath, especially since she is quoted in the introduction. But the effect, especially above, is more reminiscent of Rimbaud’s ‘Illuminations’, This is interesting, because English is a second language for Longre, yet clearly the poems were (well) written in our great language – sorry for that vulgarity. (…) There’s an Ashbery quote, about French being too clear and logical a language for some of the nuanced tonal effects achievable in English. Yet look at what Celine, Genet or Artaud achieved, poetically. Indeed, look at the best poems in this collection. Although written in English, they have the unmistakable clarity and relentless logic of the best French writing.” – Paul Sutton

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