City State showcases the work of twenty-seven London writers between the ages of 16 and 36. From hyperlinked walks of Battersea bombsites and guerilla gardening projects to jagged urban lyrics and dark hymns to the East End, City State presents a confident, entertaining and truly diverse snapshot of the best new poetry from London.
Featuring poems by: Jay Bernard, Caroline Bird, Ben Borek, Siddhartha Bose, Tom Chivers, Swithun Cooper, Alex Davies, Inua Ellams, Laura Forman, Wayne Holloway-Smith, Christopher Horton, Kirsten Irving, Annie Katchinska, Amy Key, Chris McCabe, Marianne Munk, Holly Pester, Heather Phillipson, Nick Potamitis, Imogen Robertson, Jacob Sam-La Rose, Ashna Sarkar, Jon Stone, Barnaby Tidman, Ahren Warner, James Wilkes, Steve Willey
"We are offered London as a test case for a new diversity of means and manner, from sassy performance scripts to the solid blocks of densely disjunctive language characterised as innovative or avant-garde. [City State proposes] a central space that is also the meeting place of many edges."
Philip Gross, Poetry London
"City State is [a] journey across the metropolis in rush hour: a journey that by turns bewilders, delights and throws up unpalatable truths. The anthology showcases a real range of styles, from Jacob Sam-La Rose’s heartfelt verse, to Chris McCabe’s complex, darkly witty observations. Though diverse, the poets featured here often seem to riff around several themes that are associated with London itself: dislocation, escapism, breathlessness."
"Performance poets are wedged side by side with the new crop of post-langpo practitioners and sculptors of sound; formalism and new narrative jostle for position with cut-ups, found poems and the inheritors of a confessional poetics [...] What seems to unit the best of the poets here is a quality of looking outward: they are aware of, and play with, the possibilities of language and form; they draw on a recognisable tradition but refresh it, linguistically and subjectively [...] There is a great deal of vitality and versatility among the younger generation of emerging poets in the country’s capital."
"Here is a good, deep shaft drilled into the poetry of the capital. [...] What I like about this anthology is its range. There are poets here who, I guess, could fit into the latest Bloodaxe catalogue with relative ease. There are others, like Nick Potamitis or Steve Wiley and Alex Davies, who are much more experimental and are carrying on the work of poets such as Allen Fisher and Iain Sinclair. And there are poets coming out of a more performance-oriented stream such as Jacob Sam-La Rose, whose wonderfully ironic ‘How to be Black’ is one of the many highlights of this collection.[...] A true anthology of what’s going on in poetry now."
Tom Chivers (editor) was born in 1983 in South London. A writer, editor and promoter of poetry, his publications include The Terrors (Nine Arches Press, 2009) and How To Build A City (Salt Publishing, 2009). A winner of the inaugural Crashaw Prize, he is Associate Editor of Tears in the Fence, was Poet in Residence at The Bishopsgate Institute, London, and has appeared on BBC Radio 3 and 4. Tom is Director of Penned in the Margins and Co-Director of London Word Festival.