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Ed Luker, Other Life

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Ed Luker’s Other Life is an acerbic and intelligent collection with heaps of personality. Luker’s poems show an interest in the inner riddles of poetic form coupled with desperate attempts to navigate the insane demands of modern life, including £3 pound sausage rolls, yoga and the plains of Calabria. These complicated pressures push Luker into riotous protest. Other Life pushes against a certain shyness in contemporary poetry, replacing it with megalomaniac verve and sparkle.



"Ed Luker’s Other Life is a jewel box of scabrous pleasures. Ghosts, like debt-stricken poets, haunt bedrooms, underpasses and job centres. Luker’s poetics of permanent crisis and contemporary absurdity invites us as howling accomplices." - Momtaza Mehri


"Other Life emerges from a dedication to poetry as a practice. Its 'Os’ are as contingent and as potentially repetitive as the day itself is: spaces of pure possibility or a void where the memory of last night should be, self-exposing or else just exposed in apostrophes that don't so much appear in poems as surround themselves with the detritus of them. Composed or decomposed on the spot  across 2016-2020, they register the highs and the tawdry political lows of that period through the totally circular and nevertheless essential activity of addressing ourselves to it, falling into holes, climbing out of them, making a mess of things, and trying again and again to bear one another up. From the 'smoked out intimacy factory', a cloud in trousers goes up in fitful plumes." - Danny Hayward


“This is an expulsive and generous book. It gives out, offers a place to see the night from, then comes back as expressive calls, nasty laughs, sighs, strike songs, kisses, ‘red bull puss’, lours and falls. The trajectory of poems is the seasons of the spirit, rhythms of rest, the calendar of action, outlines of wants to be out and in, in the aftermath of the body you take to the protest with you. The self is ironic but never dismissive of what can be and needs to be done. The political friendship of Luker’s lyric voice laments and offers itself up, looking for things to be up for and how to push back. I love this book’s edging of loaded and erotic adjacencies; 10 years since a riot, the night before the day, the toe next to the big toe… in undulating registers Luker bring poets voices back to us; Raworth tones, Mendelssohn chords, and then a clear voice talks to us with doubt, with care, with solidarity, in memory of hard defeats, shared, then reformed as plans, muscled in as desires.” - Holly Pester