Who Seemed Alive and Altogether Real: A Poetry Pamphlet

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The Emma Press

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Padraig Regan’s poems delight in the sensual and the visual: this pamphlet is alive with the textures of paint, sweat, sugar and overripe fruit. Regan riffs on art history in a way which is playful and inquisitive – Johann Zoffany drinks mojitos with David Hockney; Caravaggio outrages and compels; Queen Elizabeth I is effortfully glorious. Many poems focus on the representation of the human body, discovering alternative histories in responses to paintings where the gaze of the male artist is directed towards the male figure in queerly erotic ways.

A pair of poems titled ‘Glory’ reads the iconography of Elizabeth I as a kind of drag act for the body politic, and the final sequence is a dazzling, near-Cubist display, shedding light on Caravaggio’s pictures of a young male model from a variety of revealing angles.

Short stories by Padraig Regan, introduced by Andrew McMillan.

ISBN 978-1-910139-74-5 / paperback, perfect bound / 129 x 198 mm / 64 pages / published 8th June 2017
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Emma Wright, 30, from Winnersh, is the founder of The Emma Press. She launched her business in 2012 and is now based in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. Emma started The Emma Press because she wanted to share wonderful writing with people and create beautiful books. She used to work for a big publishing house in London, in an admin role, but she longed to do something more creative and challenging. She turned to The Prince's Trust and, with our support, was able to achieve her goals through the Enterprise programme. Since then, The Emma Press has published over 35 books and been shortlisted in the Michael Marks Awards for two years running. The Emma Press is an independent publishing house which specialises in poetry books. The list includes themed anthologies, illustrated pamphlets and poetry books for children. The books are all designed – and often illustrated – by Emma herself, and she hopes that they will appeal even to people who haven't picked up a poetry book in a long time.
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