“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Crhyme Time

Gerald So was kind enough to forward on a sneak preview of THE LINEUP 2, the second anthology of crime fiction poetry, so the least I can do is repay the favour with a word or two. To wit:
“What does poetry have to do with crime?” asks Patrick Shawn Bagley in his thoughtful introduction to THE LINEUP 2, the second anthology of poems on crime edited by Gerald So. Poetry brings stillness and clarity to thought and vision, a precise bearing on the random chaos of everyday life, of which crime is an ever-present. The poems of this collection belong for the most part in that all-too-brief pause between the lurid headlines of journalism and the dramatic reconstructions of fiction, lines that wriggle their way into the crawl-space in our minds that lies between judgement, prejudice and consequence. If poetry is about anything, is about poignant, haunting truth. In ‘Visiting Hours, State Pen’, Amy MacLennan writes:
“Her lipstick
fresh, she unpins a nametag
(an all-night market),
from her blouse.”
… and your heart breaks, or should. “Crime,” wrote W.R. Burnett, “is but a left-handed form of human endeavour.” Crime fiction poetry might well be a left-handed endeavour, but boy, that Southie can punch a hole in your heart.

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