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David Briggs

The Odyssey Complex

The Odyssey Complex

SKU:9781784633301

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Synopsis

David Briggs’ new collection is a midlife corollary to the Oedipus Complex exploring themes of family ties, nostalgia and retreat, ageing and mortality, acts of memorial and the impulse towards hospitality.

Praise for this Book

‘This new collection further demonstrates David Briggs's extraordinary flair with form, music, imagery and theme. These poems are deeply sensitised to the processes of ageing, to the challenges and tendernesses of parenthood, friendship, and love, and are wonderfully alive to the quirky details of culture from which they spring. Inventive, witty and playful, profoundly musical, and robustly and beautifully made, Briggs’s poems assert his voice as one of the most mature, intelligent, and vital in contemporary British poetry.’ —Andy Brown

The Odyssey Complex is a book which understands how now is haunted by then or, as the poet puts it, how ‘there’s just enough of the past swilling around in the present.’ A cactus on a windowsill witches us back through a life, a playful narrative involving Michael Douglas becomes a weighing of accomplishments, a display of shoes in a museum leads us to the loss of a father. Briggs is a poet I always look to for the real thing and, as he builds the body of work which only he can, this sparkling new collection gives us so much to admire, to be grateful for and to love.’ —Jonathan Edwards

The Odyssey Complex is a witty, sophisticated, playful, heartfelt pleasure, full of surprises and delights. These poems are formally accomplished, intellectually inventive, emotionally layered, and bursting with life. They make you want to hang out with the poet, playing whatever music springs to mind and talking till the wee hours. Just wonderful.’ —Katy Evans-Bush

Praise for Previous Work

‘Briggs has learned everything necessary from Edward Thomas about the potential symbolism of everyday things and, as important, has learned when to leave it behind.’ —Laurie Smith, Magma

‘This is also an unabashedly moral collection of poems, intellectually curious and broad-minded while refreshingly instructive – it cuts a swathe through multitude of deposed grand narratives and never passes up the opportunity to dazzle, to succour or cajole.’ —Luke Kennard

‘Being focussed and aware is not without pain, suffering and sacrifice for the narrator of these poems. The final poem ‘Lullaby’ concludes ‘we understood the cost of what eluded us.’ These poems are full of careful, taut observations and considerations, all within ‘the eager crosshairs of truth’s opportune rifle.’ If at times I longed for some linguistic carnage to shake things up, this is nonetheless a sure-footed, agile and wise group of poems.’ —Rupert Loydell, Stride Magazine

‘Briggs' Cracked Skull Cinema is replete with dynamic poetic forms and musicality. Rather than invoking a detached speaker or catalogue of observations, Briggs engage with his subjects, colouring them with intriguing language and reflections that move beyond the sphere of the internalised self... Cracked Skull Cinema contains multitudes. Through the tesserae of social commentary, humours quips, and artefacts of popular culture come moments of lucid beauty.’ —Sarah-Jean Zubair, Poetry London

‘Anyone who has been trying to ‘see the world as it is’ through their own ‘veils of privilege’ (or indeed lack of it) in recent times will, of course, not find it difficult to identify specific candidates for the privileges kind that Briggs is referring to, yet the echoes of Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians (‘for now we see through a glass, darkly’) and Eliot’s Four Quartets (‘Humankind cannot bear very much reality’) take these lines beyond the topical and connect immediately political situations with wider-ranging concerns, both philosophical and psychological.’ —Raceme

‘An interest in the forms and musicality of lyric verse is a strong feature in David Briggs’s attention-grabbing poems, as is the inscrutable relationship between landscape and the mind … Briggs’s personal narratives are imbued with ludic conceits, often played out in quirkily historical settings. This is a striking and varied debut collection.’ —Roddy Lumsden

‘Middle Age and Space Age detritus excavated; ‘damsel-tupping goatswains’ and David Sylvian; method and magic’ lyricism and deft use of the down-stroke. This poet delivers.’ —Matthew Caley

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