paperback, 80 pages, 6 x 9 in
Publication Date: 2009
A masterful debut collection by poet Lytton Smith, winner of the Nightboat Poetry Prize.
“Smith’s debut shows imaginative ambition and rare internal variety, along with a tropism towards allegory. The title refers to the dazzling sequence—with prose poems, single-line stanzas, couplets and other unrhymed forms—in which an eternal circus represents all of humanity…The New York City–based Smith does well with the language that signals his U.K. upbringing: ‘in the centre/of the sheep-field lemurs somehow’ appear ‘at the lilt of the road This Roman road.’ Yet such scenes seem anything but antiquarian—they are fantastic and earthy, strange and inherited, classical and idiosyncratic, at once. Smith’s sequences have themes and forms rather than gimmicks, relying on imagination rather than on any biographical facts. His powers ought to help this book, and its author, last.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"...a subtle fusion of wit and whims." (Mark Ford )