Published 22nd February 2024. Available for pre-order.
Absence, the third title in CHEERIO's acclaimed poetry series, is a book about nothing. Or nothings: losses, vacua, gaps. From the desolation at the heat-death of the universe to the impassable distance between two people talking, and from the trust exercise of walking in darkness to experiments on the vacuum, Absence searches for what's missing and what we never had.
Starting with the problem of how to represent that that isn't there, and ending with the end of love, Absence takes in the ache for a vanished god, the permanently delayed doomsday of millenarian cults, and the overflowing life inside our seemingly empty buckets and stomachs. Ali Lewis's poems mirror, undermine, reframe and rephrase each other in a voice that feels as precise and scientific as is it playful and warm. Absence is both intricate and ambitious, comic and tragic.
It is a book of restless curiosity and revelation.