Out There by Jamie McKendrick

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"The Carved Buddha" praises a miniature gold leaf Buddha...This could be an emblem of the qualities McKendrick is after – a sudden apprehension, a delicate splendour – and which he captures in the best of the poems here.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Jamie McKendrick's sixth collection starts from the far flung ('out there' is the nothing - or the something - of outer space), ascertaining the mood of an observer on Uranus, or the perils of medieval travel, or listening for the speech of alien landscapes. Closer to home, the poems adopt an outsiderish stance as they ponder the business of non-belonging and draw up wry inventories of marginality - finding room for those whom history has forgotten (the inhabitants of a drowned valley in Wales) or equally for the outcasts of natural history (the northern bald ibis, the hyena, the moa), whose skeleons are 'cairns to their own extinction'.

But the poems themselves are vivid and stubbornly realised individuals: they take short views, make canny distinctions and tread carefully. Invoking paintings and artefacts and facades, they also add to an ongoing portrait of the artist - caught for example amidst the patiently-observed flotsam of a repeatedly flooding house -which becomes more finely drawn with each of Jamie McKendrick's collections.

 

About Jamie McKendrick

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Jamie McKendrick was born in Liverpool in 1955 and has published five books of poetry, including The Marble Fly, which won the Forward Prize, Ink Stone (2003) and most recently Crocodiles and Obelisks (2008). A selected poems, Sky Nails, was published by Faber in 2001. He has edited The Faber Book of 20th Century Italian Poems in 2004, and translated a selection of Valerio Magrelli's poems, The Embrace, which won the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize in 2010.
 
Published October 4, 2012 by Faber & Faber. 64 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Paul Batchelor on Oct 26 2012

"The Carved Buddha" praises a miniature gold leaf Buddha...This could be an emblem of the qualities McKendrick is after – a sudden apprehension, a delicate splendour – and which he captures in the best of the poems here.

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