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Her poems reappropriate the language of brands, pornography and instant messaging, and argue for Carry On films and Wotsits as the true subjects of poetry. The shifts of register and voice alone range from the breathtaking to the disconcerting in this stunning and complex second collection.
Easily the literary event of 2015.
Poignant, inventive, funny and wise.
Emma Hammond’s subversive second collection crackles with experimental energy, a glitch-popped open-line to modernity’s infinite yammer of miscommunication.
As well as being a rush through a hall-of-mirrors distortion of modern life and the unresolved arguments of feminism, The Story of No also contains tenderness… For all its experimentation this collection remains truthful, unexpectedly accessible and even beautiful – however often it dips its pen into a pitch-black inkwell.
Emma Hammond’s eye on contemporary society is acute, both a part and apart from the fray of the media it surveys… Hammond demands attention, she demands re-reading.
The Story of No is wilful, playful, often solemn in tone, and always direct. [They] feel alive and right now. [...] These poems feel like attempts to articulate complex experiences in an intensely contemporary way.
Chrissy Williams, Poetry London
There is something about the imaginative control exercised by Hammond, coupled with metaphorical daring, that makes you read on. The poetry is wild and unsettling but also cool and convincingly modern. This is the poetry of lived experience, but also of lived writing. Though seemingly utterly spontaneous it is also very self-aware. As if it is the most natural thing in the world, she manages to capture the life of the mind, even as it captures the movements of the world. Surprise is the engine of a good poem and Emma Hammond never fails to provide this element. She is the real thing.
Cover design by Ben Anslow
Published 9 September 2015
wild and unsettling but also cool and convincingly modern
Emma Hammond’ first collection, tunth-sk, was published in 2011 by Flipped Eye. In addition she has self-published two pamphlets, softly softly catchy monkey and Sleeveless Errand. She has performed at many events in London over the last ten years. Emma works as a freelance copywriter and has taught experimental poetry for the Poetry School. In her spare time she mentors children at the Ministry of Stories.