Speed and Other Liberties

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Salt, 2008 - Speed - 70 pages
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Space travel likened to a dream, pursued refugees, bikes ‘ridden in a free-form dance with cars’, Olympian exertion, and a crime whose solution involves global flight – these are some of the many forms of motion in Andrew Sant’s tenth collection of poems. Set in Australia, China and Europe, the poems predominantly angle in on aspects of speed, a matter the French historian Marc Bloch considered the one particularly distinctive feature that distinguishes contemporary civilisation from those which preceded it. They include narratives, lyrics, dramatic monologues – diverse points of view with social and political dimensions.The other liberties of the title exist – often under pressure but whose boundaries are often broadened by wit – in recognisable rural and urban environments as well as in imagined places, for example in a playfully conceived banana’s republic. Another is an island which has affinities with Robinson Crusoe’s. The book also introduces for the first time Mr Habitat, a brisk character with a strong voice, who is nowhere at home yet in gutsy, colloquial language expresses his views and makes wry observations – often in tight urban situations.It is a collection that’s verbally headlong, edgy and energetic, richly observant and wide-ranging, concluding with the celebratory poem ‘Abundance’, about bird and sea life off the Irish coast, and which suggests there is much to be gained from recognising that certain liberties exist at an irreversible cost.

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About the author (2008)

Andrew Sant was born in London. He migrated with his parents to Melbourne, Australia where he completed his education. He has subsequently lived in London at various times, including much of the present decade. During this time he has been Writing Fellow at the University of Leicester and, currently, at the University of Chichester. In 2001 he was resident in Beijing, China. He jointly founded the literary quarterly, Island, based in Tasmania, where by that time he had moved, and has worked as a teacher, copywriter and editor. Tremors -Ānbsp;New & Selected Poems, published in 2004, was his ninth collection.

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