Kingdom Power Glory
74pp | 9781910367605Price: £9.95
Nigel Pantling was highly commended in the 2016/17 Forward Prize for Poetry
Nigel Pantling was a soldier in Northern Ireland during the early years of ‘The Troubles’, private secretary to Ministers in the Home Office during the most turbulent year of the Thatcher Government, and a merchant banker in the 90’s when privatisations and mergers and acquisitions were rampant. He now advises chief executives of companies on strategy. His writing in Kingdom Power Glory draws on the danger, the absurdity and the human frailty that he has seen at first hand.
'The toad work’ - as Larkin put it - squats on our lives. Yet there are few novels of the workplace, and even fewer books of poems. Kingdom, Power Glory is rare not just in its seriousness about work, but in the nature of that work. At a time when many national institutions are being questioned, this book finds humour and humanity among those who wield economic, military and political power. As the ex-HR exec in Cutting Back says ‘I could see the human consequences.’ Through these timely, satirical and razor-sharp poems, so can we.’
- Michael Symmons Roberts
‘Nigel Pantling’s poems lift the lid on worlds closed to most of us. In language that is straightforward and precise, subtly ironic, he lets facts tell their own, often shocking, story. We never feel preached at, but, rather, are invited to reflect on veiled aspects of the world that surrounds us. The overarching subject of the collection is language, and the uses to which language can be put. The poems are perfectly judged encapsulations of situations in which protagonists use carefully chosen words to normalise what are often grotesque situations. This is a memorable collection.'
- Carole Satyamurti
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