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Mephistopheles by CD Boyland

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Time to get acquainted with your demons. In the poetry of  CD Boyland, they appear in years, days, algorithms, doubles, sickness, fossil fuels and factories. We travel back in time to ‘The Tavern’ where ‘Marlowe & Goethe’ shoot daggers at each other and disagree about the fate of Faust. We are called to listen. This collection trades in seven sins: one being the lust for ‘candid selfies’; another being ‘sloth’, the sin of ‘lying like a snowdrift up against everything’. Boyland’s poetics metabolise the mythical, hymnal, apocryphal, pornographic and carnivalesque forces of coal-powered modernity into the entropy of ‘unforgiving techno’ and ‘erewhon’. Variously, they take up space or dissipate. I can’t help but linger by the sirens. I want to sleep ‘peacefully / beneath a sea-bed alive with the calligraphy of coral’. Boyland makes space for nature to rewrite itself. This is a work of desire, refusal and ardent storytelling. Imagine Yeats organising a choreography of wolves. Hell’s villanelle is around the corner. —Maria Sledmere

This collection showcases a fierce intelligence at full tilt, ranging across a mirror-world where Marlowe and Goethe hurl insults across a pub table, algorithmic Faustian pacts are cemented between characters locked in eternal conflict, and an ever-expanding collage of texts pulls the reader into a web of unsystematic belief systems. Boyland is a writer of sensual terror and delight, formally inventive, and unafraid of how constraint informs creative freedom. Immerse yourself fully in this world and prepare to be unboxed. —Samuel Tongue

Blue Diode Press



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