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Poet, Novelist, and Critic


How We Met  

How We Met

(Cambridge: Salt, 2008)






Acute and assured, Gregson more than fulfils the promise of his impressive first collection as he leads us into his ‘glinting labyrinth’ of startling narratives, always told in carefully-crafted language. He keeps the reader on their toes with unpredictable turns of phrase and his energetic pace. A book to savour. (Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch)



Price: £12.99



POETRY BANK CHOICE. The title sequence of How We Met is based on the Sunday newspaper column in which famous people describe their initial meeting and their subsequent relationship. It invents five pairs of celebrities who are interviewed in this way and whose stories then interpenetrate, and eventually draw in even the interviewer herself. By comparing their accounts, it hints at the intermingling of love and power, of sexual obsession and the drives to both submission and dominance.

Half the book comprises the long sequence ‘The William Ewart Gladstone Comic Strip’ which is spoken by a veteran cartoonist who has been commissioned to draw a series of cartoons dealing with Victorian history, and focused upon Gladstone. These poems meditate upon cartoons as an art form, explore the cartoonist’s character and view of the world, and use caricature as a metaphor for expressing the distortions of memory and history, drawing upon its distinctive armoury of imagery, including its references to animals and machines, and its unusual combination of humour with uncomfortable responses such as anger, fear and contempt. It shows the impact on Victorian society, and therefore of those after it, including our own, of the British empire, industrialisation and urbanisation, and the changed sense of self that results from Victorian science, especially Darwinism.

The two sequences, and the shorter, free-standing poems at the start of the book, use a wide range of forms, including free verse, syllabics, and metrical and rhyming forms such as the ballad and the sonnet.

The book dwells upon the testing of the boundaries of the self which result, in particular, from the rise to prominence of the technological media, and, in this respect, compares and contrasts the present and the past.



ISBN: 1844714802



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E-mail: webcontact@iangregson.co.uk



Poems and Novels
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