The poems in Samuel Tongue’s debut collection explore the meshwork and mess of living lives dependent on ‘sacrifice zones’: places, peoples, and animals that become expendable in the maintenance of civilised society. From medieval animal trials to extinctions in colonial Van Diemen’s land; from personal online data collection, to Quint’s Ahab-like obsession with killing sharks in Jaws, these poems trouble and are troubled by the cost of sacrifice. If the ritual roots of sacrifice (sacer [holy] + faciō [to do/make]) are intended to render the material world sacred, then what kind of religions are we caught up in now? With poems that muddy the religious and theological with the animal concerns of weevils, ticks, magpies, and whales, Tongue finds the beating engine at the heart of things.
Samuel Tongue is a widely published poet with two pamphlet collections: Stitch (Tapsalteerie, 2018) and Hauling-Out (Eyewear, 2016). He won a New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust in 2013 and poems have featured in journals and newspapers including And Other Poems, Blackbox Manifold, Envoi, Magma, Gutter, The Herald, Interpreter’s House, The Scotsman, The Compass, Northwords Now, The Scores and the anthologies Be The First to Like This: New Scottish Poetry and Best British and Irish Poets 2016. He is former poetry editor at the Glasgow Review of Books and former co-editor of New Writing Scotland. His day job is project coordinator at the Scottish Poetry Library.
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Ten Poems from Scotland Selected and introduced by Don Paterson£4.95
The ten poems in this revised and updated edition offer a taste of the poetry of Scotland. Some poems explore ideas around identity and change, exile and belonging. Others focus on landscape and place, or are principally about language itself. As Don Paterson writes in his vivid introduction, Scottish poets “…excel, I think, at the […]