Blade Pitch Control Unit is a gathering of Sean Bonney’s work in poetry over the last five years. It collects together all the work from his previous pamphlets that he still feels is valid, plus a number of previously unpublished pieces. The presentation of this work in a single volume makes clear the scope of his project as a psychogeographic/historical exploration of the possibilities of political verse that would seek to obliterate the pitfalls of simple protest or the expression of easily assimilable opinions. The work moves from psychogeographical registerings of Greenwich and the Isle of Dogs at the time of the Millennium Dome, through excavations of the ghosts of millennial heresies still present in contemporary London, and into a charting of the effects of official mendacity on the psyche of any individual citizen who knows that all private experience is collective. The events of recent history play a major role, sometimes obliquely, sometimes less so, but Bonney refuses to allow his voice to be merely an outraged commentary on contemporary woes. Instead, he presents a poetry that makes clear that the protestor is also culpable, but equally a poetry that understands that only through a registering of this position can a way out be found. For Bonney, a poem is typically a highly rhythmic (or arrhythmic) object that seeks through maximum density to communicate a dialectical relationship with the cosmos, and to explore the faultlines of official history and urbanism through which possibilities of liberation can be traced.
‘This is a poetry of social refusal in every sense. It says ‘no’ incessantly to all forms of consensus and launches a fierce and directed attack on the forces that betray us into saying ‘yes’. It's a poetry I trust.’ —Jeff Hilson
‘Sean Bonney is not the Rimbaud of Fentiman Road, London SW, even if he sometimes parties as though he were. There’s much more to him than that; not least the broadest gamut of any poet I know, from Lettrist marks in charcoal – genuine Old Stone Age technology – to computer manipulation of digital scans. And there’s every sort of textual practice in between. These poems meet the end of a quarter-of-a-century of the monetarist project with an entirely appropriate and seemingly unappeasable venom; a rage perhaps only met previously in late-70s Barry MacSweeney or John James, mixed with a constructive dexterity and and a recombinatory energy akin to Maggie O’Sullivan. (What exactly is a “MOTHFLOOM”?) This is vital poetry from a writer fortified with wit and stored with disdain. Ladies and gentlemen: Sean Bonney.’ —Harry Gilonis
‘These poems are scores for impassioned recitation, burning with a rare urgency and intelligence . . . They have a raw quality: manic states inscribed in phrases short enough to catch them. Because the poems are written for Bonney's speaking voice, they have an elegant rhythmic flow: this elegance provides a foil for the desperation and violence of the content.’ —Ben Watson