House of Lords and Commons by Ishion Hutchinson
Poems

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Hutchinson maps a new literary territory, one that is borderless and timeless. With deep erudition and vulnerability, his poems unfix history’s grand narratives and he bravely sings into an unsung past.
-Guardian

Synopsis

A stunning collection that traverses the borders of culture and time, from the 2011 winner of the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award

In House of Lords and Commons, the revelatory and vital new collection of poems from the winner of the 2013 Whiting Writers’ Award in poetry, Ishion Hutchinson returns to the difficult beauty of the Jamaican landscape with remarkable lyric precision. Here, the poet holds his world in full focus but at an astonishing angle: from the violence of the seventeenth-century English Civil War as refracted through a mythic sea wanderer, right down to the dark interior of love.

These poems arrange the contemporary continuum of home and abroad into a wonderment of cracked narrative sequences and tumultuous personae. With ears tuned to the vernacular, the collection vividly binds us to what is terrifying about happiness, loss, and the lure of the sea. House of Lords and Commons testifies to the particular courage it takes to wade unsettled, uncertain, and unfettered in the wake of our shared human experience.

 

About Ishion Hutchinson

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Ishion Hutchinson was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica. His poetry collection Far District (2010) won the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award. Other honors include a Whiting Writers' Award, the Glenna Luschei Award from Prairie Schooner journal, and the Academy of American Poets' Larry Levis Prize. He is an assistant professor of English at Cornell University.
 
Published September 20, 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 97 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for House of Lords and Commons
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by William Logan on Nov 23 2016

If the voice is sometimes monotonous, the rhetoric often inflated...Hutchinson has a mature sense of tone and a wary detachment that gives the ordinary the glossy depths of a Vermeer. In a landscape of younger American poets increasingly shy of language rich with responsibility, increasingly suspicious of literature, Hutchinson is like fresh air.

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by William Logan on Nov 23 2016

If the voice is sometimes monotonous, the rhetoric often inflated (“they steam chromatic, these Elijahs / in their cloud wheels, fatherless and man-killing” — the “cloud wheels” are just automobiles), Hutchinson has a mature sense of tone and a wary detachment that gives the ordinary the glossy depths of a Vermeer.

Read Full Review of House of Lords and Commons: P... | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Sandeep Parmar on Dec 09 2017

Hutchinson maps a new literary territory, one that is borderless and timeless. With deep erudition and vulnerability, his poems unfix history’s grand narratives and he bravely sings into an unsung past.

Read Full Review of House of Lords and Commons: P... | See more reviews from Guardian
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