All the houses in this city
have ghosts. The shops in Little India
and the stalls in China Town all
full of ghosts. Sometimes you’ll see a pickup
full of ghosts, Sri Lankans, Tamils,
making their way to a construction site,
under bridges or in alleys
howling with airconditioning units.
- from ‘Ghosts’
Static Exile is a powerful and meditative debut collection which combines acute political observation with caustic humour.
George Ttoouli draws on his Greek heritage through daring re-imaginings of myth, whilst the title poem remakes the Godzilla story for the 21st century; an energetic and experimental satire of the paranoid rhetoric of modern Britain. A work of both tenderness and fire, Static Exile is a call to arms that introduces a bold new voice in poetry.
“I don’t expect poetry to make me laugh my ass off, but this totally got me.”
“Static Exile fizzes with energy, and it’s fun. I mean, laugh out loud, read-it-again-and-again fun. This is satire, and often genuinely caustic satire, too – if, as I suspect, it’s about to make a comeback in UK poetry, then I’ll be applauding all the way, and cheering Ttoouli’s place in the vanguard.”
Matt Merritt, Polyolbion
“George Ttoouli’s Static Exile shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone who’s seen him read, but maybe it was the fact that he combines satire and the sort of political sensibility that’s rare in modern poetry while being laugh-out-loud funny at times that was really so refreshing.”
“Static Exile is wild and varied: ambitious, expansive, keen to try new things. Tetherless, Static Exile incorporates knockabout comedy, political satire, and anxious personal accounts of the poet’s twenties.”
Swithun Cooper, Warwick Review
“The title poem is a runaway monster. [...] It is packed with all kinds of parodic jabs, structural intertextualism, sneaky nods to pop, gadget and café culture and gleefully critical political commentary. Many of its sections are laid out to look like something between chaotic fleeing-crowd scenes and giant footprints. It’s spralling and grandiose, yet easy to grasp. There are other poems in the book that capture the same spirit, as well as numerous pieces that see him in investigatory mode, either on the move or stationed in museums and libraries, interrogating the scene for all its fluctuating detail.”
Jon Stone, Dr Fulminaire’s Questionable Arts
“‘Ghosts’ is my favourite poem ever.”
“Static Exile makes a compelling case for the power of satire, dark comedy and surrealism in contemporary experimental / linguistically innovative poetry, particularly when married with political conviction and commitment and even, when it is justified, anger. Some of the poems are very funny, though they remind us, to paraphrase the words of the critic L.C. Knights, that comedy is a serious business, concerned with serious, urgent subjects. Ttoouli’s work is challenging and multivalent; sometimes resisting definitive interpretation, it repays rereading. Those who like the sound of its ambition could do worse than get hold of Static Exile and, having made it to the DVD extras at the end, treat themselves to a repeat showing or two.”
Steve Van Hagen, Eyewear