Date: 14th November 2015
Daniel Sluman’s bleak brilliance in the terrible is a masterclass in the power of poetry to confront difficult subject matter with accuracy and painstaking openness. These are rigorous and exacting poems, that dare to go to some of the darkest places and speak with stark precision.
These poems may be stripped down, intense and utterly frank, but they are not without deep reserves of sincerity and beauty. Sluman writes of the heady cocktail of being alive, where loss, love, sex, close shaves with mortality and sharp narratives of pain and suffering are examined in concise and humane clarity.
Praise for the terrible:
‘Daniel Sluman’s new collection explores acute and chronic, emotional and physical pain (and, albeit less often, pleasure) with a raw, compelling urgency. At times playful, at times harrowing, the terrible always brims with life.’ – Carrie Etter
‘Vivid and honest poems of intense experience, in which no wound is too deep to be cauterised by language.' – Jean Sprackland
‘This is a decadent work of painstaking beauty. Its sophisticated chromatic spectrum is fevered with a minimal though striking palette of monochrome and the occasional burst of pure, visceral colour – erotic, it sweeps through all the shades and nuances of Love and a life lived to its blurry reaches like a Lou Reed song and striking and vivid as a Warhol Factory print. Blood sutures stream through every poem and cuts in the flesh of this book ensure that you cannot read it to the end without knowing the sweet release of a hesitant knife edge to the wrist – let the pain entice you – there is absolute suffering and absolute relief within the pages of this book.’ – Melissa Lee-Houghton
‘In this unflinching collection, Daniel Sluman evokes raw truths at the core of personal experience. These are darkly intimate poems, by turns tender then stingingly sharp, where the human body itself houses ‘strange weather’ that has the capacity to overwhelm an individual in an instant, shaping relationships and identity. To read them is to view the world through a lens that reveals sinister undercurrents in everyday places. Each moment of hope they reveal is as fragile and beautiful as a lit match in a cellar.’ – John McCullough
Daniel Sluman is a 29-year-old poet and disability rights activist based in Oxfordshire, UK. He gained a BA and MA in Creative Writing from the University of Gloucestershire, and has previously held editorial roles at Dead Ink, Iota, and the award-winning disability anthology FTW: Poets against Atos. He was named one of Huffington Post’s Top 5 British Poets to Watch in 2015, and his debut poetry collection Absence has a weight of its own was released by Nine Arches Press to critical acclaim in 2012.
"Daniel Sluman has looked mortality square in the eye and given it shape. These poems are crafted with a striking maturity, each with a heartbeat and blood in its veins. If poetry has a purpose, then this is it." – Helen Ivory
"Daniel Sluman’s debut collection crackles with energy; his language is physical, fast-paced, passionate, fearless. A real discovery by Nine Arches Press." – Penelope Shuttle