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Up Late

Up Late

Reeling in the face of collapsing systems, of politics, identity, and the banalities and distortions of modern living, Nick Laird confronts age-old anxieties, questions of aloneness, friendship, the push and pull of daily life. These poems transport us from a clifftop in Ireland's County Cork to a bench in New York's Washington Square, from a face-off between Freud and Michelangelo's Moses to one between the poet and a squirrel in a London garden.

At the book's heart lies the Forward Prize-winning title sequence, a profound meditation on a father's dying at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. The reverberations of this knockout poem echo through the volume in its interrogations of inheritance and legacy, illness and justice, accounts of what is lost and what, if anything, can be retained. Amid rage, grief, and the conflagration of reality, Laird finds tenderness in the moments of connection that grow between the cracks and offers glimpses into the unadulterated world of childhood, where everything is still at stake and infinite.

Astonishing in its emotional range and intellect, Up Late is a powerful volume from an "exceptionally gifted poet" (Paul Muldoon, Times Literary Supplement).

Publication Date: 
November 14, 2023
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