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In Quennets Philip Terry develops a sonnet-like form invented by the Oulipian poet Raymond Queneau. Across three sequences, the 'quennet' is reworked and refigured in response to three perimiter landscapes. The first sequence, 'Elementary Estuaries', is inspired by a series of walks along the Essex estuary, the poems' appearance on the page suggesting the landscape's expansive esturine vistas, its pink sail lofts and windswept gorse, beach huts and distant steeples. In the second sequence, written after a series of walks around the Berlin Wall Trail, or Mauerweg, the form changes to reflect the physical, almost bodily tension of the wall as an architectural and social obstruction. The final sequence, 'Waterlog', retraces the steps of W. G. Sebald through Suffolk, and here the quennet's newely elongated shape and ragged margin evoke the region's eroding coastline, its deserted piers and power stations, electric fences and waterlogged fields. Terry's project is bold in scope, his poems subtle in effect, a mix of sign and song, concerete and lyric, Oulipo and psychogeography.It is a work about boundaries, political, social, and natural, and about the walk as a critical apparatus through which these fields are shown to connect.
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* Philip Terry is Director of the Centre for Creative Writing, University of Essex* Quennet is a form invented by Raymond Queneau in 1975, the fifteen-line sonnet...* Themes: the pschyogeographies championed by Will Self, including Essex estuary walks and the Berlin Wall Trail* Translated Queneau's Elementary Morality, a Telegraph Best Poetry Books of the Year

About the Author

Philip Terry was born in Belfast in 1962. He has taught at the universities of Caen, Plymouth and Essex, where he is currently Director of Creative Writing. His fiction, poetry and translations have been widely published in journals in Britain and America. His books include the celebrated anthology of short stories Ovid Metamorphosed (2000), Fables of Aesop (2006) and the poetry collections Oulipoems (2006) and Shakespeare's Sonnets (2010).


'The lineation speeds along at a nice articulated pace, the Dantesque pitch is right and propulsive, the cast of villains is energising, the balance between language and lingo, the allusive and the obscene just right.' - Seamus Heaney; 'Sparse by design, this poetry is a strong reminder of the power of words when allied to our imagination, experience and emotions.' - Prize Judges, New Angle Prize for East Anglian Literature

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