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City of Marvels by J. R. Carpenter

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J. R. Carpenter's poems have an eye for detail and an ear for the sounds of York in both past and present, inviting the reader to experience the city for the first time, regardless of whether they've ever been. City of Marvels is a poetic geography and Carpenter has given us both the route and the compass.


PRAISE for City of Marvels:

Carpenter walks the streets of York in a series of stops and starts with a sharp eye and gentle humour. Juxtaposing the tourist tat with the birdlife, the architecture with the snippets of overheard conversation, the present with the past. The result is an extraordinary historical geography of the present in poetic form.

   – Tim Cresswell, Place: An Introduction


an attentive record of an unrestful & mobile present in contact with a mobile & unrestful past – each timeline riverine & susceptible to rise

   – David Borthwick, co-editor of Walking, Landscape and Environment


J. R. Carpenter's text is texture, is York stone, York water, York crowds, York sweat, York geese, York pubs, York massacres, York seen by an eye that is not native, reminding us to wonder whether such a thing even exists, in York, or anywhere else. This poem of place like York itself holds itself up like a host, of pilgrims, of tourists, of poets. It is marvellous.

   – Kimberly Campanello, MOTHERBABYHOME


ABOUT J. R. Carpenter:

J. R. Carpenter is an artist, writer, and researcher working across performance, print, and digital media. Questions of place, displacement, migration, and climate change have long pervaded her work. Her digital poem, The Gathering Cloud, won the New Media Writing Prize 2016. Her debut poetry collection, An Ocean of Static, was highly commended for the Forward Prizes 2018. Her second collection This is a Picture of Wind, was listed in The Guardian’s best poetry books of 2020 and longlisted for the Laurel Prize 2021. She is currently a Research Fellow working on Wind as Model, Media, and Experience at Winchester School of Art.

Broken Sleep Books



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