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Mancunia Synopsis

Shortlisted for the 2017 T. S. Eliot Prize Longlisted for the 2019 Portico Prize PBS Autumn Recommendation Mancunia is both a real and an unreal city. In part, it is rooted in Manchester, but it is an imagined city too, a fallen utopia viewed from formal tracks, as from the train in the background of De Chirico's paintings. In these poems we encounter a Victorian diorama, a bar where a merchant mariner has a story he must tell, a chimeric creature - Miss Molasses - emerging from the old docks. There are poems in honour of Mancunia's bureaucrats: the Master of the Lighting of Small Objects, the Superintendent of Public Spectacles, the Co-ordinator of Misreadings. Metaphysical and lyrical, the poems in Michael Symmons Roberts' seventh collection are concerned with why and how we ascribe value, where it resides and how it survives. Mancunia is - like More's Utopia - both a no-place and an attempt at the good-place. It is occupied, liberated, abandoned and rebuilt. Capacious, disturbing and shape-shifting, these are poems for our changing times.

Mancunia Press Reviews

It is a book for our times, hopeful yet grounded, and not above its subject. -- Rory Waterman * The Times Literary Supplement * Enchanting. -- Tristram Fane Saunders * Daily Telegraph * There is pleasing variety here... Articulate and well-achieved... Symmons Roberts's voice reverberates the most. -- Declan Ryan * Literary Review * Superb, substantial and intricately varied... One of the wonderful things about Symmons Roberts is his way of pushing poems - and himself with them - in a direction you were not expecting. He constantly reconstitutes the world... Symmons Roberts reminds us of how easy it is to see human extremity without seeing it - a moving feat in what is a first-rate collection. -- Kate Kellaway * Observer *

Book Information

ISBN: 9781911214298
Publication date: 3rd August 2017
Author: Michael Symmons Roberts
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd an imprint of Penguin Random House Children's UK
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 88 pages
Categories: Poetry by individual poets,

About Michael Symmons Roberts

Michael Symmons Roberts was born in Preston, Lancashire in 1963. He has published six collections of poetry and received a number of accolades including the Forward Prize, the Costa Poetry Award and the Whitbread Poetry Prize. As a librettist, his work has been performed in concert halls and opera houses around the world. An award-winning broadcaster and dramatist, he has published two novels, and is Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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