Cutting up the Economist
Published by Burning Eye Books
In Cutting Up The Economist Clive Birnie critiques the extraordinary post Lehman Bros. era in a sequence of montage poems composed using headlines from editions of The Economist newspaper published between 2009 and the spring of 2014. The format mirrors that of The Economist itself with sections devoted to Britain, Europe & the Euro crisis, the USA, China etc. The headlines are used intact and strung into narratives within strict confines ‒ only headlines about Britain are used in poems about Britain for instance ‒ or the contents pages of single issues are redacted to reveal hints and hidden truths about the political calamity of the age of austerity. The result is a quizzical re-cast of a dramatic period of ultra-recent history shot through with black humour.
Entrepreneur, editor and poetry activist Clive Birnie has been cutting things up to make poems from them since 1994. Some of these have been published by The Delinquent and Streetcake and a fourteen poem sequence of thought fragments cut from overheard conversations and management seminars between 1994 and 1998 was published as a e-chapbook by Silkworms Ink in 2012.