This could be the last post in this advent calendar if the world does come to an end tomorrow. If, however, it turns out it’s just the end of the Mayan Calendar, then perhaps the absence of the absence of the world will itself possess a kind of weight. Either way, you’ll obviously be needing to get your hand on the book behind door 20, which is…
‘Absence has a Weight of its Own’ by Daniel Sluman, Published by Nine Arches Press
Nine Arches Press believe that literature is something vital and precious, and it’s this, above all else, that they hope their publications will reflect both their aesthetics and content. Their tastes are eclectic and wide ranging, so rather than defining a ‘type’ or genre of work they want to publish they look for high quality work with a unique voice all of its own.
They publish poetry pamphlets and poetry books, as well as short story pamphlets and Under the Radar magazine, and look for work that they believe will excite, surprise or delights their readers.
Their aim is to continue to build their reputation as publishers of well-crafted and innovative contemporary poetry and short story collections.
‘Absence has a weight of its own’ by Daniel Sluman, is the book I put in this calendar to sit with you through your new year regrets. It’s described by Nine Arches as:
“an unflinching study of serious illness, sex, death and decadence […] at times provocative and by turns tender and wry. Frailties and vices are held up for inspection in a ruined landscape of disappointing highs, hung-over regrets and head-on collisions, haunted by figures such as Roman, an unrepentant and debauched womaniser. In the aftermath, real love and hope remain stubbornly, emerging into the sunlight of an unexpected new day.
There are loads of extremely good reviews for this book on Nine Arches which you should go now and read and get all tempted and then buy this book, but just to start you off, I’ll included one from poet Luke Kennard here:
“This poetry of love and trauma is deeply, generously intelligent without ever becoming knowing. There is no joke here: even the most ambitiously strange analogies are counterweighted by a tonne of hard-won pathos. Daniel Sluman’s imagery is jealous-makingly good and his fiercely witty, lyrical voice charts a course between the plainspoken and the precision engineered epiphany. On any given rainy morning, empty afternoon or night, they turn you sideways. You find yourself possessed like Roman (more Sluman’s sporadically illuminated sidekick than Berryman’s Henry) by the conviction, in the glittering mystery of a mundane street, that ‘we’re walking narratives’.”
‘Absence has a weight of its own’ by Daniel Sluman is available to buy now direct from Nine Arches Press for £8.99.
[Day 20 on the Poetry Advent Calendar is ‘Swithland Woods’ by Karen Powell]