Carcanet online book launch: Shadow And Refrain by Alex Wong

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Carcanet Press

21 July 2021 Tickets from £2 — Book now

Alex Wong launches Shadow And Refrain: Poems And Translations, his second collection with Manchester’s Carcanet Press. He will be reading from the new book and chatting about it with fellow Carcanet poet, and bookseller, John Clegg.

Alex Wong says: “These poems are designed to be read using the mouth” – so this should add an extra dimension to the reading.

Alex Wong’s first collection, Poems Without Irony, came out in 2016, and is described as a book “that took nothing for granted, that broke through to the particularity of things and experiences, distrusting and defying generality”. Poet Elaine Feinstein celebrated the “extraordinarily new rhetoric for his love poetry” while David Morley commended Wong’s “linguistic finesse”.

Of the latest collection, Alex Wong says: “These poems are designed to be read using the mouth” – so this should add an extra dimension to the reading. The publisher says: “Shadow And Refrain presses on, less coyly, with similar themes and a tenacious syntax that gorgeously persists until it has secured its quarry, the long sentences – sometimes running through several stanzas – asking to be read aloud to be secured. […] This book, like the first, is troubled by the difficulty of frank expression in the more private nooks of day-to-day life, and is driven to find curious routes into the centres of experiences that resist simpler articulation. Some poems are imagined addresses to inaccessible friends, or engagements with significant places and objects. Intimacy is repeatedly probed, the processes by which it can be attained and lost, the preoccupations it brings with it and leaves behind.”

As always with Carcanet Press events, extracts of the text will be shown during the reading so that you can read along, and audience members will have the opportunity to ask their own questions. Registration for this online event is £2, redeemable against the cost of the new book – attendees will receive a discount code and details of how to get hold of it during and after the event.

Also check out the Carcanet website for other upcoming launch events: on 30 June Jason Allen-Paisant, on 7 July John Ashbery and on 28 July Gregory Woods.

21 July 2021 Tickets from £2 Book now

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