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’
Featured on BBC Newsnight Review
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’.
‘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.’
‘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.’
‘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