Life Without Air

Daisy Lafarge author


Publisher:Granta Books

Published:5th Nov '20


Available to order, but very limited on stock - if we have issues obtaining a copy, we will let you know.

Life Without Air cover

A visionary debut collection exploring our intimate and ecological dependencies

The debut collection of a stand-out contemporary poet, bringing an ecological vision to relationshipsSHORTLISTED FOR THE TS ELIOT PRIZE FOR POETRY 2020 WINNER OF THE SCOTTISH BOOK AWARDS' POETRY BOOK OF THE YEAR A POETRY BOOK SOCIETY RECOMMENDATION SHORTLISTED FOR THE JOHN POLLARD FOUNDATION INTERNATIONAL POETRY PRIZE "Whip-smart, sonically gorgeous" - Rae Armantrout, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Versed When Louis Pasteur observed the process of fermentation, he noted that, while most organisms perished from lack of oxygen, some were able to thrive as 'life without air'. In this capricious, dreamlike collection, characters and scenes traverse states of airlessness, from suffocating relationships and institutions, to toxic environments and ecstatic asphyxiations. Both compassionate and ecologically nuanced, this innovative collection bridges poetry and prose to interrogate the conditions necessary for survival.

Lafarge's is a fierce, clear-eyed poetry that expresses the sticky relationality between human pain and non-human destruction; the unsettling intimacy of our shared afflictions * Guardian *
Startlingly fresh, at once assertive and tender, light and dark, she manages to be consistently surprising-often in unexpected ways. The range of work showcased here is impressive in itself; add the dry wit, a flare for the surreal and bright flashes of lost reality [...] and try not to be wholly engaged, refreshed and enthused -- Janice Galloway
'Daisy Lafarge's Life Without Air is a whip-smart, sonically gorgeous exploration of the personal, cultural, and historical ties that bind us in literally and figuratively toxic relationships. From the marram beach grass that supports the dunes that threaten to choke it in "Desecration Air" to the toxic lakes created by rare earth mining that power our "green" technologies in "Dredging Baotou Lake," Lafarge shows us how deeply embedded we are with what harms us. These poems are as subtle and complex as the insidious relationships they illustrate. Life Without Air is the right book for our far-gone moment -- Rae Armantrout, author of Pulitzer Prized winning * Versed *
The eye's visual field is only 5%, only 5% of what we see is in focus. Daisy Lafarge's poems specialise in reclaiming what we lose to habitual perception, and her language has the directness and exactitude of a specialised lexis; not jargon, but a methodical application to its subject. Daisy's poems look through a microscope: her language like a lens delicately rendering to make sense of things; a view so complicated by its alert optics and detailing that we lose an ordinary sense of what it is we're looking at; but what we gain is a heightened sense of its surfaces, its light, its mechanics. We exchange the outlines of life for a small, truer piece of the matter itself. Like pond water pushed through a soda stream, or language diffusing through the permeable membrane of the wall of the cell, exchanging complex sugars, changing its behaviour -- Jack Underwood, author of * Happiness *
Warm-blooded and intimate as much as it is mind-expanding * New Statesman *
A vivid and evocative collection... Fusing science, literature and art, Lafarge intellectually explores the ecosystem that human environments can permeate... Lafarge has set the bar high with this wonderful debut collection * The Fountain *
This book's poetry deftly melds nonhuman, environmental exploration with biting considerations of misogyny and toxic relationships. It's fiercely original, strange and vital -- Books of the Year * Ignota *

ISBN: 9781783786336

Dimensions: 197mm x 134mm x 8mm

Weight: 140g

96 pages