Things To Do Before You Leave Town

Ross Sutherland

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Attempt to tessellate everything
you’ve never wanted
and ever known.
Cut the phone. Bleed the radiators.
from ‘Things To Do Before You Leave Town’

Mono-browed cousins, clandestine paperboys, murderous action heroes and Swiss euthanasia clinics jostle for position in Ross Sutherland’s intelligent and wildly entertaining debut collection of poetry.

Sutherland charts the never-ending urban excursions of Pac-Man; constructs mash-ups of celebrity obits; and dons a surgical mask to conduct an ‘Experiment to Determine the Existence of Love’. Things To Do Before You Leave Town is a sharp, ambitious and blackly comic exploration of the end of things, where ‘all the roads that lead out are really leading back in’.

Review quotes

‘In his free-wheeling lyricism, caustic wit and brilliantly surreal turn of image, Sutherland is a truly contemporary original. His poetry rejuvenates techniques as disparate as collage, memoir, sound experiment and formal appropriation in vigorous but finely wrought lines. Refreshingly fearless and bleakly funny, Things To Do Before You Leave Town collects works that shock and delight in performance but reveal their true depth on the page.’
Luke Kennard

‘Giving expression to those spaces between metaphor and meaning and the journey from belonging to loss and back again. An amazing collection that gives a voice to those who have felt the need to throw frisbees of the highest point in town.’
Amazon.co.uk customer

‘Ross Sutherland’s poetry approaches the epic; a kind of epic on a human scale. If he were a piece of furniture, he would be an elegant high stool that felt uncomfortable and stylish at the same time.’
Ian McMillan, BBC Radio 3

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Things To Do Before You Leave Town

Cover design by Mercy


ISBN 9780955384646
Published 9.01.09
Pages 64
RRP £6.99


Filed under Books, Poetry collections, Ross Sutherland


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a kind of epic on a human scale

Ian McMillan




About the author


Ross Sutherland

Ross Sutherland was born Edinburgh in 1979. A former lecturer in electronic literature at Liverpool John Moore’s University, Ross now works as a freelance journalist and as a tutor in creative writing. He was one of The Times’ Top Ten Literary Stars of 2008. Ross’s poems have been published in Rising, Reactions, Orbis, Mercy, Tears in the Fence, The Fix and NME. He co-edited the new writing anthology Rock/text (Pen & Inc, 2002). A founding member of Aisle16, Ross has co-written eight live literature productions, including the critically acclaimed Poetry Boyband and Found in Translation. Ross makes regular appearances at Manchester Literature Festival, Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, Glastonbury, Latitude Festival, Port Eliot Literary Festival and venues around the UK. He’s completed solo tours of Switzerland and Germany, during which the Basel Zeitgung described him as “strömschnellen”. He is reliably informed that this has something to do with white water rafting.