I want to give my readers a heads up about this wonderful book which is coming out in November this year, Daniel Sluman’s ‘the terrible’ – this is what I have to say about it after reading the manuscript:
‘This is a decadent work of painstaking beauty. Its sophisticated chromatic spectrum is fevered with a minimal though striking palette of monochrome and the occasional burst of pure, visceral colour – erotic, it sweeps through all the shades and nuances of love and a life lived to its blurry reaches, like a Lou Reed song and striking and vivid as a Warhol Factory print. Blood sutures stream through every poem and cuts in the flesh of this book ensure that you cannot read it to the end without knowing the sweet release of a hesitant knife edge to the wrist – let the pain entice you – there is absolute suffering and absolute relief within the pages of this book.’
And this is what Nine Arches Press’s editor has to say about it:
‘Daniel Sluman’s bleak brilliance in the terrible is a masterclass in the power of poetry to confront difficult subject matter with accuracy and painstaking openness. These are rigorous and exacting poems, that dare to go to some of the darkest places and interrogate a bare language to speak out with truthful precision.
These poems may be stripped down, intense and utterly frank, but they are not without great sincerity and beauty; Sluman writes of the heady cocktail of being alive, where loss, love, sex, close shaves with mortality and the sharp narratives of pain and suffering are written in crystal-clear and humane clarity.’
This is a book I wholeheartedly endorse and I think it will garner a wide readership, not least because Daniel does not shy away from difficult themes and I really admire how he has pushed and reached and explored depths and heights most other poets wouldn’t dare to.
Today I woke early and crept downstairs to work before everyone else got up. I managed some heavy editing and wound myself up in frustrated knots by the time everyone else began their day. I have had to sleep this afternoon, I was just so exhausted, and my mood has been ever so low and difficult to bear. I’ve begun reading Emma Jane Unsworth’s ‘Animals’ and I love it, fifty pages in. There is a female Tyler Durden and it’s got a great pace and it’s very much a book with personality. I think this book saved the day for me as while I read I wasn’t preoccupied and it took me out of my head for a short while. I have very little to say for myself today but I’ll leave you with last night’s dramatic Lancashire sunset: