Near Future by Suzannah Evans
Published 4th December 2018
Suzannah Evans’ debut collection Near Future is doom-pop-poetry with an apocalyptic edge, a darkly humorous journey through sci-fi lullabies and northern mysteries. This is a future simulation stripped of the space-age gloss of progression - one where the robots have gone rogue and the hopes of a new millennium are malfunctioning; a skewed yet oddly familiar world gone uncannily wrong.
These playful, sharp, poems are also about more than dystopias and five types of possible apocalypse - in looking at the worst-case scenarios, Evans comes closer to the bigger narrative; universal truths of change, whether man-made or natural, preventable of inevitable, and the uncertain business of human existence where 'there are disasters that you cannot prepare yourself for'. Evans brings a distinctive, skilful and wonderfully peculiar roving eye to our restless and unpredictable times.
‘Suzannah Evans’s poems offer us a catalogue of disasters and darknesses, imagining asteroid collisions, call centres at the end of the world, a museum of different types of dark, a school play set in a motel run by the devil. Against this, the author sets up an unforgettable humour and a range of everyday objects – alcopops, a nylon carpet, a tin of beans in tomato sauce – in poems which are accessible, entertaining and often deeply moving. Global catastrophe becomes an opportunity to focus powerfully on personal relationships; imagined cities give us the real city anew. Writers like Charles Simic and Matthew Sweeney seem like good reference points for this writing, but there is a spirit and a personality in the work of this exciting new writer which is all her own.’ – Jonathan Edwards
'In an anxious, paranoid world, we need poems like these more than ever. Near Future is a witty and inventive debut collection, offering wry hope as well as a dystopian vision of the future. Suzannah Evans' writing is subtle and precise, shaped by a searching intellect.’ – Helen Mort