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Homunculus by Luke Palmer

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In the sequence of poems that forms the spine of this debut collection, Luke Palmer casts 16th Century alchemist Paracelsus as an eccentric single father, giving voice to his Homunculus; a preformationist child and the secret to eternal life. By turns playful and profane, the arcane bleeds into the everyday, untethered from history – a walk in the woods is an encounter with an angry god, a potty training accident becomes a metaphysical exploration. Elsewhere, Palmer addresses masculinities from both sides of the ‘father tug’, roving between the concrete and ephemeral, asking questions of language, the wants of an aging body, and what it means to live forever.


PRAISE for Homunculus:

A feat of language and love, meticulously woven in its rhythms and yet explosive, uncontrollable. A poetry collection that reminds you of the endless possibilities of words, scooping them up in fistfuls and clashing them together in sparks until something inside the poet (and reader) catches fire.

— Caroline Bird, The Air Year


Using his intricate dexterities of form and ways of pitching ideas at the acutest of angles, Luke Palmer’s Homunculus makes the theories of Fifteenth and Sixteenth-century preformationists germane to the highly complex realities we inherit. This is a fiercely original debut collection that not only reinvents the lyric but proves that the esoteric has feet in the world.

— Tim Liardet, Arcimboldo's Bulldog


ABOUT Luke Palmer:

Luke Palmer is a prize-winning poet and critically acclaimed author. He lives in Wiltshire with his partner and their three daughters who, rightly, couldn’t care less. 

Broken Sleep Books



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