A Brief History of the Short-Lived
Shortlisted: Acorn-Plantos Award for People's Poetry (2013)
Book DescriptionIn his third poetry collection, A Brief History of the Short-Lived, Chris Hutchinson brings the full force of his linguistic dexterity to bear on the elusive subject of literature itself. With his restless intellectual curiosity tempered by a dash of witty self-deprecation, Hutchinson deftly manoeuvres through hallowed halls of academia with humour and grace.
Three stylistically distinct sections,“Imago,”“A Brief History of the Short-Lived,” and “Serialist” are interwoven throughout the collection, showcasing the range of Hutchinson’s poetic ability. The “Brief History” poems explode from the page in densely allusive bursts of energy, clusters of images fired off at a rapid pace: “He is wearing a green felt / Fedora with an ostrich plume which bursts into flame the moment I drop / A three-sided coin into his outstretched flipper.” By contrast, the “Imago” and “Serialist” sections are quieter and more meditative, though no less inventive or rich in imagery: “Rhetoric is big business / as byzantine networks / replace its circle of friends.”
By turns gleefully irreverent, thoughtful and too clever for its own good, A Brief History of the Short-Lived defies description—it must be read to be believed.