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Chris’s even newer book!

The Seventh Quarry Press in Swansea will soon be publishing my latest book of poems, A Partial Truth (August or September this year). Blurb as follows:

These poems encompass a great variety of genres, moods and themes from the personal and reflective to the satirical, philosophical, historical, and scientific. What they share is a formalist conviction that rhyme and meter are by no means obsolete for serious poetic purposes and that verse technique is a necessary, if not sufficient, condition for any poem that merits the name. They also put the case for a poetics that takes its distance from the highly subjective, self-absorbed, often private-confessional mode of much present-day lyric poetry. This allows them a wider range of tone and attitude as well as a greater freedom for the exercise of intelligent thought about topics beyond the narrowly first-person remit. Norris reminds us that the intellectual passions are rightly so called since ideas can generate a degree of passionate involvement that finds its fullest, most striking expression in formally complex and challenging verse.

pp. 124; price £8.50 including postage. Contact me by email (norrisc@cf.ac.uk) to order copies. Other volumes of poetry also available: The Cardinal’s Dog, 2015; For the Tempus-Fugitives, 2016; The Winnowing Fan, 2017; The Matter of Rhyme, 2018, The Trouble with Monsters, 2019.

 

 

Chris’s new book of political poems

This is to let you know that my book of political verse The Trouble with Monsters was published in paperback by Culture Matters on January 2nd 2019. The poems take aim at some monsters of our present bad times, among them Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Theresa May, George Osborne, Benjamin Netanyahu, and assorted hangers-on.  These politicians act as if they have said to themselves, like Milton’s Satan, ‘Evil, be thou my good’. They are held to account here in verse-forms that are tight and sharply focused despite the intense pressure of feeling behind them. The satire is unsparing and the dominant tone one of anger mixed with sorrow and a vivid sense of the evils and suffering brought about by corruptions of political office. The influence of Brecht is visible throughout, as is that of W.H. Auden’s mordant verse-commentary on politics and culture in the 1930s, along with the great eighteenth-century verse-satirists Dryden, Pope and Swift.

Norris leaves the reader in no doubt that we now face a global and domestic neo-fascist resurgence that won’t be defeated unless by concerted action on the part of left activists across borders of every sort. The book has a jacket design very much in keeping with its content: a specially commissioned cartoon by the Guardian’s Martin Rowson entitled ‘Donald, Jacob, Theresa – and look out for Boris!’

‘A unique combination of political anger and poetic ingenuity’ Terry Eagleton

117 pp; published January 2019; ISBN 978-1-912710-12-6

If you would like to have a copy of the book for £8 including UK postage please email me (norrisc@cf.ac.uk) giving name and postal address. I’ll then get back to you with payment details.

Who runs may read (and who reads may run…)

Do you know where the quote ‘who runs may read’ comes from? Apart from Chris, that is, where I got it!

My new novel In the Long Run has certainly hit its stride now with good reviews on Amazon, invitations to book clubs and healthy sales, including some that are finding their way into Christmas stockings. And the 2019 London Marathon is on the horizon, bringing back nostalgic memories for me of competing in it in the 1980/90s. It was much easier to write about it than to run in it!

Chris’s new book (‘The Trouble with Monsters’) – out soon!

Here’s the jacket copy for my new book, coming out in a few weeks:

These poems take aim at some monsters of our present bad times, among them Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Theresa May, George Osborne, Benjamin Netanyahu, and assorted hangers-on. These politicians act as if they have said to themselves, like Milton’s Satan, ‘Evil, be thou my good’. They are held to account here in verse-forms that are tight and sharply focused despite the intense pressure of feeling behind them. The satire is unsparing and the dominant tone one of anger mixed with sorrow and a vivid sense of the evils and suffering brought about by corruptions of political office. The influence of Brecht is visible throughout, as is that of W.H. Auden’s mordant verse-commentary on politics and culture in the 1930s, along with the great eighteenth-century verse-satirists Dryden, Pope and Swift.

Norris leaves the reader in no doubt that we now face a global and domestic neo-fascist resurgence that won’t be defeated unless by concerted action on the part of left activists across borders of every sort.

If we could learn to look instead of gawking,
We’d see the horror in the heart of farce,
If only we could act instead of talking,
We wouldn’t always end up on our arse.
This was the thing that nearly had us mastered;
Don’t yet rejoice in his defeat, you men!
Although the world stood up and stopped the bastard,
The bitch that bore him is in heat again.

(Bertolt Brecht, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui,

trans. George Tabori)