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From Professor Murasaki's Notebooks on the Effects of Lightning on the Human Body
From Professor Murasaki's Notebooks on the Effects of Lightning on the Human Body

From Professor Murasaki's Notebooks on the Effects of Lightning on the Human Body

POETRY

80 Pages, 5 x 7

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $14.95 (US $14.95) (CA $19.95)

Publication Date: February 2018

ISBN 9781910974285

Rights: US & CA

Comma Press (Feb 2018)

Price: $14.95
 
 

Overview

A John Latham poem is a like a precipitation: images coalesce around a single memory the way ice crystallises around the smallest particle to form a snowflake; the strange logic that constructs them is unique each time. Passionate, satirical, mysterious, the poems in his sixth collection capture the vibrancy of a childhood that still bewitches him half a century later, alongside the cruel betrayals of old age, and the fresh possibilities bound up in each new encounter. Latham's training as a physicist may bring a cosmic perspective to the landscapes he maps out, but they are also profoundly local. The wonders of the universe are no more mysterious to him than the simple oddity of other humans. And as the title poem demonstrates, every last atom of detail, even the mistakes of a makeshift translation, have the capacity to beguile.

Reviews

"A poetry of sensitivity such as many novels offer. The detail is exact, the spirit of the past conjured through the words most feelingly." —Peter Porter, Observer "The poetic effects are subtle… yet he is able to make the tiniest details sing. Unsentimental, plain, but rhythmically invigorating…" —John Greening, Poetry Review "Spectacular writing, with lines that hang around in the mind long after you've read them." —Ian McMillan, Iron

"Latham keeps a weather eye on life, seeking out new connections and things not yet discovered. His poems glisten with new insights, both enthralling and consoling." —Jane Swanson, Dundee University Review of the Arts

Author Biography

John Latham has worked for over 40 years as a research scientist specialising in cloud formation. A recipient of several medals from the Royal Meteorological Society, he was, for eight years, president of the International Commission on Atmospheric Electricity, and founded the Atmospheric Physics Research Group at UMIST (which later became the University of Manchester's Centre for Atmospheric Science). In 1988 he moved to the US, to become a Senior Research Fellow at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Colorado. Latham is the author of six collections of poetry, including All-Clear (Peterloo Poets, 1990) and Sailor Boy (The Collective Press, 2006), as well as short fiction, one novel – Ditch-Crawl (Comma, 2006) and several radio plays, broadcast on BBC Radio 4. His poetry has won first prize in over 20 competitions, and the title poem for his latest collection From Professor Murasaki's Notebooks on the Effects of Lightning on the Human Body won second prize in the UK's 2006 National Poetry Competition.