Album artwork for Country Music by Will Burns
Album artwork for Country Music by Will Burns

Debut collection from one of the most talented new British poets. The poems in Country Music are observant, curious, finding everywhere they look detail worthy of notice, determined in that 'The falsehood is that there is little / left for us to know'. This same faith in the minutiae of the world acknowledges the cost of our decisions, however small that 'To feel the evening coming up / and to stream one way or another' can be the difference between this life and that, 'at once to feel / all these things change'.

From the intimately personal the choices that lead us towards, or away from, old friends, lovers, family members and their lost and vanishing stories, to the collective humanity's 'bad choices piling up like debts' Burns is everywhere concerned with consequence and responsibility. 'The bloody mess of individuals / plastic stuff outside an abandoned tent', tobacco packaging, dogshit, old newspapers, styrofoam, white goods, both blend into and stand out from the landscape. This is evidence of the human cost, the tent's inhabitant existing at the margins. There are 'rubber boats in the news / and no borders to heavy weather', the patterns of migratory birds are disrupted, and a sequence of poems explores the poet's grandmother, displaced after the war, like a castaway, to 'some welcome or unwelcome or indifferent port.'

Quietly, insistently against a ground of Chet Baker's trumpet, a Texan country singer 'on his second life', beer and bourbon and Brêton cider, American primitive, Merle Haggard, Warren Zevon, marijuana and micheladas and the shimmer of pedal steel the coded messages of the natural world show through. Here is an exhortation to remake, restore, 'begging for you to build again / this time something cool and that will last'.

In its evocations of doubt and responsibility, music and memory, Country Music is a debut of immense power from one of British poetry's most accomplished new voices.

Will Burns was born in London and lives in Buckinghamshire. He likes sports, gardening and birds and is Poet-in-Residence for the online journal Caught By The River. He was named as a Faber New Poet in 2014, with his first pamphlet published that year. His second pamphlet was published in 2016 as part of the Clutag Press 4 Poems series, and a third, Germ Songs, was published with Rough Trade Books in 2019. Also in 2019, he released the album Chalk Hill Blue, a collaborative work with the composer Hannah Peel, which set a number of his poems to her music. CountryMusic is his first collection.

Will Burns

Country Music

Offord Road Books
Album artwork for Album artwork for Country Music by Will Burns by Country Music - Will Burns
Album artwork for Album artwork for Country Music by Will Burns by Country Music - Will Burns
Album artwork for Country Music by Will Burns
Paperback

£10.00

Released 07/04/2020Catalogue Number

9781916015913

Will Burns

Country Music

Offord Road Books
Album artwork for Album artwork for Country Music by Will Burns by Country Music - Will Burns
Album artwork for Album artwork for Country Music by Will Burns by Country Music - Will Burns
Album artwork for Country Music by Will Burns
Paperback

£10.00

Released 07/04/2020Catalogue Number

9781916015913

Debut collection from one of the most talented new British poets. The poems in Country Music are observant, curious, finding everywhere they look detail worthy of notice, determined in that 'The falsehood is that there is little / left for us to know'. This same faith in the minutiae of the world acknowledges the cost of our decisions, however small that 'To feel the evening coming up / and to stream one way or another' can be the difference between this life and that, 'at once to feel / all these things change'.

From the intimately personal the choices that lead us towards, or away from, old friends, lovers, family members and their lost and vanishing stories, to the collective humanity's 'bad choices piling up like debts' Burns is everywhere concerned with consequence and responsibility. 'The bloody mess of individuals / plastic stuff outside an abandoned tent', tobacco packaging, dogshit, old newspapers, styrofoam, white goods, both blend into and stand out from the landscape. This is evidence of the human cost, the tent's inhabitant existing at the margins. There are 'rubber boats in the news / and no borders to heavy weather', the patterns of migratory birds are disrupted, and a sequence of poems explores the poet's grandmother, displaced after the war, like a castaway, to 'some welcome or unwelcome or indifferent port.'

Quietly, insistently against a ground of Chet Baker's trumpet, a Texan country singer 'on his second life', beer and bourbon and Brêton cider, American primitive, Merle Haggard, Warren Zevon, marijuana and micheladas and the shimmer of pedal steel the coded messages of the natural world show through. Here is an exhortation to remake, restore, 'begging for you to build again / this time something cool and that will last'.

In its evocations of doubt and responsibility, music and memory, Country Music is a debut of immense power from one of British poetry's most accomplished new voices.

Will Burns was born in London and lives in Buckinghamshire. He likes sports, gardening and birds and is Poet-in-Residence for the online journal Caught By The River. He was named as a Faber New Poet in 2014, with his first pamphlet published that year. His second pamphlet was published in 2016 as part of the Clutag Press 4 Poems series, and a third, Germ Songs, was published with Rough Trade Books in 2019. Also in 2019, he released the album Chalk Hill Blue, a collaborative work with the composer Hannah Peel, which set a number of his poems to her music. CountryMusic is his first collection.