Journey into the eerily familiar and the wittily uncanny world of The Lotus Bunker, the second full collection of poems by prize-winning poet William Stephenson. Full of unlikely pairings, if you've ever wondered if androids dream of electric sheep or what kind of music the Northern line was into in the 70s, this is the collection for you.
Praise for The Lotus Bunker:
'The poems in The Lotus Bunker read like a series of compressed novels, depicting alternative worlds in which a vast array of grotesque and yet terrifyingly recognizable characters, along with their seemingly impossible dilemmas, are meshed together into an intoxicating whole. The vision which explodes (and implodes) here is a dystopian one, and yet, if we have the courage to admit it, is very much a true depiction of a universe we have already corrupted with our all-too-human selfishness, greed and sheer lack of imagination. The language employed moves at dizzying speed through different genres – the political, ecological, scientific, journalistic, and other – without ever betraying, however, its core poetic vision, sustained throughout by vivid, unsettling and at times hilarious metaphors. There is no other poet writing like William Stephenson today. You ignore him at your peril.
—Ian Seed, author of New York Hotel (Shearsman)
'In William Stephenson's precisely worded and imaginatively fertile poetry, clashing realities constitute a world tantalisingly close to our own, wrenched through an erudite mix of future-projected technologies and the examples of history – from the Roman Empire to recent pop culture – into a hauntological vision as disquieting as it is darkly comic, shot through with matter-of-fact horror and exquisite detail. This is a world of butterfly bots and sanctioned corporate mayhem, of politics re-written as pâtisserie, where a glitchy simulation of domestic bliss is at once grotesque and charged with pathos.'
—Steve Xerri, author of Mutter/Land (Oystercatcher Press)
William Stephenson teaches English at the University of Chester. His first poetry pamphlet, Rain Dancers in the Data Cloud (Templar, 2012), won an Iota Shots award. His second pamphlet is Source Code (Ravenglass, 2013), winner of the Ravenglass Poetry Prize. His first collection Travellers and Avatars was shortlisted for the Live Canon First Collection Prize 2015 and is published by Live Canon.
Reviewers have described his poetry as ‘quirky, refreshingly different and wide-ranging in its cultural references. Data made interesting in a way I would never have expected or anticipated in poetic form’ (Sarah James) and as setting up a world where ‘words slip away from their original meanings, become jargon, trademarks, or symbols on a broken keyboard’ (Tim Love).