Prototype, 2021, Softcover, 72 pages, 22.5 × 17 cm
Sam Buchan-Watts’ debut collection considers the capacity contemporary lyric poetry has to reflect social change. The many ethical dilemmas these poems enact listen in to the noise which society makes to distract itself – from carceral space to questions of asylum, masculinity and the boundaries of aesthetic play.
Buchan-Watts variously inhabits poetic form, exposing the interplay of sound, sense and desire. Returning repeatedly to the figure of a vulnerable boy approaching the thicket of adolescence, these are poems that are listening in when they’re not supposed to, distracted when they should be listening in, and finding secret listeners behind the arras. In this disquieting terrain we must hold ourselves to account for what we hear and what we make of what we hear.