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How To Build A City is the Crashaw Prize-winning debut collection of poetry by Tom Chivers. It is a poetic interrogation of the twenty-first century urban experience, drawing on the history, culture, society and topography of London. Chivers takes his cue from radical writers such as Iain Sinclair and Barry MacSweeney to create an impressionist poetry, marked by playful riddling, found texts and unusual juxtapositions. How To Build A City is peopled by ghosts of London's past as well as the distinctly modern spectres of spam email, international terrorism and the credit crunch. The title piece is a choppy, sardonic investigation of contemporary East London, a travelogue that never really leaves Liverpool Street Station. Some of the poems are personal accounts of love and loss, including `Thom, C & I', a long sequence of lyrical fragments cut from a diary written by the poet's mother. Other poems take the reader away from the city to the fenlands of Medieval East Anglia, apple-heavy Himalayan gardens and the bleak uplands of Northern England. How To Build A City captures the mood of a fluctuating, unstable metropolis that is continually coming to terms with multiple and conflicting identities.
|Publication date:||15th July 2011|
|Categories:||Poetry by individual poets,|
Tom Chivers was born in London in 1983. A writer, editor and promoter, he is Director of Penned in the Margins, Co-Director of London Word Festival and Associate Editor of Tears in the Fence. He was Poet in Residence at The Bishopsgate Institute, London. A limited edition sequence entitled The Terrors was published by Nine Arches Press in 2009. How To Build A City is his first full collection.More About Tom Chivers