Adventures in poetry
Publication Date: 21st March 2019
Extent: 80 pp
BIC Code: DCF
David Clarke, winner of the Michael Marks Poetry Award 2013, returns with his second collection, The Europeans. Simultaneously close to home and looking outward beyond these shores, these wry and perceptive poems revel with form and encompass journeys, ideas of nationhood and national identity, and the optimism of a time when Europe and the UK enjoyed a quite different 'entente cordiale'. They are a warning against nostalgia, a lucid and prescient exploration of how we see ourselves and how we are seen.
Praise for The Europeans:
"Who are The Europeans? That long-standing and now politicized ambiguity is the watermark on each page of David Clarke's new collection. It’s an exploration of acquaintance and intimacy with some of the different normalities beyond the White Cliffs, and a new look at the upstairs pub room that seems familiar. It includes the best gathering of found Brexit similes I expect to see in my lifetime, and a poem on stately homes that needs to be broadcast before every re-run of Downton Abbey. With targeted humour, an eye for the mobile and the sedentary, repurposing the mundane, David Clarke takes us to estates of all kinds, to both Leeds Central and Milano Centrale, knows the ice cream van and the wine list, and "the many conjugations / of to be."
- Alistair Noon
"‘Meet me in the lobby of the Hotel Europa… Call it a dream, a happy accident. If you must, a lie.’ The poetry of David Clarke commands its many subjects with captivating humour, absorbing memories, and flashes of anger against ignorance or murderous prejudice. Whether in accounts of school exchange visits, or of W. H. Auden’s ‘difficult love’, Clarke’s authoritative new collection offers profound pleasures, and deepening regrets, in a poetic continent where every reader must confront ‘your own untruth’. The Europeans is certainly a book for the present. It is also a book for our uncertain future." - Alison Brackenbury
"A document for our times. A protest against bigotry and smuggery. A thesis for open borders and equality. In its cumulative effect, The Europeans is a comparative cultural analysis, a social satire and political commentary, a portrait of us and them, here and there, home and away. A quietly angry chronicle that’s both eulogy and elegy, a record of all that begins, or once begun, across the Channel, so far and yet just twenty miles away."
- Paul Stephenson
David Clarke was born in Lincolnshire. His first pamphlet, Gaud, won the Michael Marks award in 2013. His first collection, Arc, was published by Nine Arches Press in 2015 and was longlisted for the Polari Prize. Another pamphlet, Scare Stories, was published by V Press in 2017 and was named a Poetry School ‘Book the Year.’ His poems have appeared in magazines including Magma, Tears in the Fence, Long Poem Magazine and The Interpreter’s House.