Saturday, 20 October 2012

Kirsty's book is loose - catch it quick!

Never Never Never Come Back is out now from Salt Publishing! Available initially in a limited hardback run, with gorgeous hotfoiling under a dust jacket featuring artwork by the very talented Matt Latchford.

Here's the spiel!

Don’t go over the hill, or look too long into the well, or go carousing with strangers, or you’ll never never never come back. With the haunting quality of nursery rhymes but the complexity of a dark and smoky wine, these poems brood on absence and abandonment, outcasts and anomalies, monstrosity and mistakes.

At the heart of the collection are a suite of tightly focused, often impressionistic character studies ranging from cannibals to schoolgirls, but Irving also finds space in the shadows for desperate love songs to pilots and robots, satiric odes to tyrants and deft engagements with popular and literary culture. Whether turning the features of a pinball table into an emotional debris field or recounting unnerving sexual encounters, these are rich and rangy poems of a defiantly unusual character that linger in the mind as much for their controlled dissonances as their uncompromising subject matter.

Huge thanks to Salt Publishing's Chris Hamilton-Emery and my editor Roddy Lumsden. I could not be more stoked.

Stay tuned for launch details!

For review copies, contact me at

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot

In protest at the disproportionate and injust incarceration of three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot, and as a gesture of solidarity with Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, the magnificent English PEN have released Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot. Commissioned, curated and edited by UK poets Mark Burnhope, Sarah Crewe and Sophie Mayer, this collection has drawn together a huge range of writers, asked them to pen responses to the situation and then encouraged said poets to pose in balaclavas in support of perhaps the three most famous devotchkas out there right now. The resulting anthology has been flagged up by the US Poetry Foundation and The Guardian, and continues to grow in stature and support. With contributions from as far afield as Kenya and Austria, Catechism has become a borderless project, uniting poets from across the globe. Indeed, many translators have stepped up to provide Russian versions of the poems. A group of the poets involved conducted a protest outside the Russian Embassy in London on 1 October, on what was originally scheduled as the girls' appeal date (since moved to 10 October). You can see videos of that protest here, as captured by contributor S. J. Fowler:


New Pussy Riot poems are being posted on the English PEN website every day. Catechism is available in e-book format for a donation and in sexy hard copy for a mere £7.95 plus p&p. You can also follow English PEN on Twitter (@englishpen) and search by the hashtag #freepussyriot for further updates on the case.