Seatter’s subjects range from an elliptical self-help manual to a telephone party line, where we become ‘an accidental spy’ on another life; from the comfort of a drunken night singing hymns to the elusive proximity of family trees; from the recipe for summer pudding as elegy for a lost friend to a mantra of engineering facts about Sydney Harbour Bridge to comfort a dying father.
King Kong, Chekov, Marilyn Monroe, Shakespeare’s comic lovers, Gershwin, Robinson Crusoe, Ulysses, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers all find their way into this eclectic, multi-voiced collection. And at the heart of the book is a sequence of poems inspired by the writer’s travels in South America, conjuring both the exactitude of place and the nagging unreality of journeying.
Robert Seatter has published two well-received collections from Seren, Travelling to the Fish Orchards (2002) and On the Beach with Chet Baker (2006). Educated at Oxford, he has worked as an EFL teacher in Italy and France, as an actor and as a journalist in publishing and broadcasting. He lives in London and works for the BBC.