Plainspeak is the highly anticipated second collection by Astrid Alben, following her acclaimed debut Ai! Ai! Pianissimo. In these startling poems, readers will experience Alben’s unorthodox alter-ego-thinking-out-louder approach with the same exhilaration as they might engage with art or jazz. The poems in Plainspeak deal with place, ancestral ties, solitude, flight, insomnia and the embattled absurdities of daily life. Alben plays with formal boundaries, linguistic identity and the lyrical poetic voice, writing with rhythmic vitality and visual imagination. The poems tell multiple narratives whilst retaining the freedom of abstraction; they are supple and precise, each one an installation evoking different aspects of a particular theme. Plainspeak reinvents play and logic, is poignant and humorous, absurd and anguished: a book for and of the times we live in.