IE02. A PROMENADE // Samuel Fairbrother
Established primarily for poetry and monographs, Infernal Editions are a series of high-quality, limited edition pamphlets inspired by the seditious temper of Parisian independent presses. Each edition will be DL size, hand numbered and bound with a riso-printed dust jacket.
A Promenade is the debut collection from Sam Fairbrother. A poetry cycle utilising sonnet, tercet, tanka and free verse; written as a phenomenological exercise in place-writing whilst attending the Quatuor Danel's performance of Shostakovich's string quartets, at the University of Manchester in February 2022. The month in which the army of the Russian Federation invaded the state of Ukraine. The work elegises international peace movements of the twentieth century and is also a valediction of the act of concert-going.
Sam writes and directs theatre. A resident of the Mersey Basin, he is an active member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and a gay man.
Praise for A Promenade:
Taut, disorientating, allusive, precise, Sam Fairbrother’s poetry provides a laconic and arresting lyricism. A Promenade takes us on a political and experimental journey, and is lit, as Fairbrother has it, by “the frivolities of my / heart’s disrupture”.
— Seán Hewitt, author of All Down Darkness Wide and Tongues of Fire
What we want is a new form of the daring and Fairbrother’s moral tone and heightened lyrical pressure dares to declare itself heartsick. Endlessly rocking and rolling, surging on in waves, we are close to the borders of Berryman’s powers of control here. It rings with an exhausted ecstasy.
— Austin Collings , author of The Myth of Brilliant Summers and co-author of Renegade: The Lives & Tales of Mark E. Smith
A Promenade is unique. Intense, close alliteration throughout. With Sam's choice of sound and a massive vocabulary you get a lyricism. Meaning is hinted at. The words are strokes and paint brush dabs, like an impressionist painting.
— Carol Batton, poet
It is tempting to describe A Promenade as aspiring to the condition of music, a kind of ekphrastic response to a performance of Shostakovich’s string quartet cycle. A virtuosic pageant of poetic forms, where meaning follows sound: listen with me and we shall find love. But, while this is in part true, it is also a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and its language is full of the twentieth century. Where music (if any art can) transcends politics, and creates a world of pure sensation, A Promenade is alive to the dirt and blood of words; it knows that language is politically engaged, and must be engaged. Its vocabulary is roving and corporeal, full of "inners bleeding out" and "colons" and "arterials" and the "oceans of bones" which the last, bloody century has produced. Here, meaning is placed under extreme pressure, syntax and grammar heated, squeezed, cracked, and forced into place, multifarious, expressionist, to compass the brutal reality of the poem's subject. And this collection screams, urgently, beautifully, that it appears we have not learnt from this history. Yet, it is not hopeless or solipsistic. There are moments, "breezily leaving a brothel," which recall the semantic/phonic play of Joyce, or Beckett or Ashbery, and there are moments of tenderness and sincerity, almost in spite of themselves. While A Promenade stops short of providing consolation, choosing rather, the direction: love what can be sought and never had; it is itself a reminder that good things can come out of bad, that we still have a choice between creation and destruction.
— Isaac Nowell, author of The Fountain
Accreditation & Specification
Art Direction: Adam Griffiths
Typesetting: PARIAH PRESS
Print: Spot Risograph & Thermal Offset
Paper: Clairefontaine (Fr) & Colorplan (UK)
Format: Pamphlet (210x130mm) Staple Bound + Dust Cover
Published: 23rd February 2023
Trade: PARIAH PRESS
LRB Bookshop, London
Pushkin House, London
Pathos & Penthos, Manchester
Rare Mags, Stockport