Shortlisted for the Forward Prize Best First Collection 2023
The poems in Cowboy are knowing, millennial, internet-sick, funny, with deep undercurrents: of embodied and disembodied spiritualities; of the knowledge of animals; of familial mythologies; of grief and longing; of autism and navigating diagnoses; of early and enduring disappointment; of the wildness underneath the smooth glass-and-chrome surfaces of contemporary life.
The echo of a question permeates the collection - where does a person grow up? - moving restlessly between rural Wales, London and the American South; between the esoteric spaces of the internet; between the artlessness of childhood and adolescence transfigured inexplicably into a disquieting adulthood, with its attendant weirdness of rent-paying, cohabiting, the churn of mindless work and alienation.The generous abundance of Cowboy's references - memes, early noughties television shows, pop songs, cities and their suburbs, video games - bring anxiety and pressure, joy and glory to this singularly impressive debut.
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