What surely will be one of the main literary events of the year, if not the decade, is the U.S. release of Keston Sutherland’s The Odes to TL61P, a work that has been in incubation for at least the last three years. Here is the Amazon page. Sutherland’s poetry has always been the province of a select group of readers who believe that the movement effectively “founded” by J.H. Prynne is the state of the art. The Odes were released in the U.K. at the end of April. The Poetry Foundation announced the launch in London. The publisher’s summary follows:
The Odes to TL61P is a suite of five massive, turbulent, tender and satirical odes written and revised from 2010-13. It is the explicit history of the author’s sexual development from early infancy; a commentary on the social and political history of the UK since the election of the coalition government; a philosophical account of the common meaning of secrecy in the most intimate, private experiences and in international diplomacy; a wild work of revolutionary theory that investigates in minute detail the difference between commodities and human lives; a record of a thousand revisions, deletions and metamorphoses; an attempt to radically extend and reimagine the very possibility of the ode form; a monstrous accumulation of techniques and mimeses, from the strictest and most perfected metrical verse to the most delirious and cacophonous noise music; and a devoted love song to the now obsolete product ordering code for a bygone Hotpoint washer-dryer, “TL61P”. It is the longest poetical work yet written by Keston Sutherland and his most comprehensive effort yet to transform the grammar of human existence.
You can read my introductory essay on Sutherland here.