Ransom Notes

RANSOM NOTES

Ransom Notes is Jacqui Rowe's fourth published pamphlet, launched by V. Press in May 2015.

This pamphlet is a sequence of little poetry fictions that are simultaneously very serendipitous and very idiosyncratic. Each poem is an abstraction from the lives of characters conceived by chance and who emerge through the writing  without ever fully explaining themselves.

Originating from a process of cutting up and randomness, fragments of writing, sketches, poem drafts and found texts were initially combined to form documents resembling a kidnapper’s ransom notes. These were then crafted and shaped. It may be that the same people recur throughout the poems, heard variously in different voices from diverse points of view, or that they are several characters, interacting in and populating the same world.

“Ransom Notes is a beguiling construct of abducted and redeemed words, still trailing the resonances of unknown former contexts. From them, Jacqui Rowe has teased and finessed new narratives, characterized by dissonant echoes, tonal shifts, sudden depths and elliptical insights.” Alasdair Paterson

“Beautifully crafted poems which reveal themselves slowly with each read. This is a pioneering work by a poet on top of her game.” Antony Owen

In a detailed review of Ransom Notes on Sabotage Reviews, Alice Tarbuck comments on how “Rowe enjoys playing with meaning, but is also aware of the potency of the non-meaningful in found poetry” and concludes: “the tantalizing lack of punctuation makes this poetry text flexible, as if what is found there might alter according to the reader’s whim. A fascinating pamphlet.”

The full review may be found here, and a sample poem from the collection is below.



Ransom Notes with P&P


PHLOGISTON

but light was not his field
dirtier in busy doors and tightly
woven doorways shades

of its refraction dimmed
and skimmed dishevelled ladies
his brain kept flaming

spills alive in bell jars birds
fell dead out of the sky his phantasy
revelled at length in patterns
of great earthquakes the certain

stars showed smiles
of loosened hair that wicked
away all terrible appearances

and unforeseen in time he went
for phlogiston and weeping said within
himself the first breath of a word





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