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Vessel | CD Boyland

Vessel | CD Boyland

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    ‘CD Boyland’s second publication Vessel is a haunting, impressionistic exploration of what cannot be contained. Its tightly wrought, formally innovative poems unspool the false dichotomies between presence and absence, intimacy and isolation, myth and truth. We witness—and are witnessed by—a crowd of anonymous voices confronting life’s overwhelming silences. Through capturing the ephemeral, Boyland has crafted an urgent, unsettling collection which will endure.’


    —Dr Katie Ailes (poet and academic)


    ‘In Vessel, CD Boyland enacts a katabasis, traversing the psychic underworlds of postmodern and classical mythologies through a sequence of kaleidoscopic and claustrophobic prose poems, revealing a subterranean landscape of symbolic figures that is disturbingly familiar. Here we encounter Ed Wood, Dr Caligari, Roland Barthes, Kathy Acker, Virgil, Sappho, Charon, Demeter and, of course, Persephone in a polyphonic montage that revels in an aesthetics fragmentation. The enforced isolation and social distancing of recent years underpins this surrealist odyssey down the rabbit hole. Joseph Campbell associates katabasis with the process of “dissolving, transcending, or transmuting the infantile images of our personal past” in a confrontation with our monsters and angels.’


    —Bob Beagrie (poet, playwright and academic)


    ‘A conjuring of an effervescent past with a fractured present. Vessel gently observes without passivity, assumes nothing and weaves the familiar with the forgotten. A wonderful read.’


    —Victoria McNulty (poet and educator)


    ‘In this shamanistic collection, CD Boyland has taken a device, the cut-up, that in careless hands can be coldly modernist, and used it to create resonance and depth. The book shows us how we can’t stop ourselves creating meaning from juxtaposition, and though it consciously addresses this matter of how the human mind relates to the world, it’s never simply analytic. It’s like being guided through an abandoned home, performing rituals of care and honour at each remaining fragment of the lives that once were lived there. The guide points to a rectangle of un-faded wallpaper where a picture once hung, and you see the picture. He shows you a book in a language you can’t read, but somehow you recognise the person who once read it. The home is generous. The tenderness is ever-present. This is a book to read and re-read.’


    —Harry Smart (poet)

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