Ahren Warner's latest poetry collection is an incisive, darkly comic look at the tangled web of identity and performance involved in contemporary life.I'm totally killing your vibes
is a book compulsively drawn to a world where the squelch and seep of feelings frustrate our safety nets of logic and ethics, and violence and inadequacy are so often the consequences of love.
It is a book of poems concerning the exuberant performance, and the manic dissolution, of the self. It moves through the slow, fragmented dissolve of a relationship, via a tableau vivant of assorted, itinerant characters, and an extended, darkly comic dialogue with the feedback of literary, academic, and everyday life.
A final, long-form prose poem extends the book's interrogation of consumption as our contemporary mode of self-construction, of masculinity, and of desire.
About the Author
Ahren Warner has published three books of poetry with Bloodaxe, including Hello. Your promise has been extracted (2017), which was shortlisted for the Roehampton Poetry Prize 2018. His debut, Confer (2011), was shortlisted for both the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Michael Murphy Memorial Prize 2013. His fourth collection, I'm totally killing your vibes, is published by Bloodaxe in 2023. His collections have received three Poetry Book Society Recommendations and awards including an Arts Foundation Fellowship. He works across writing, photography and moving image, with an intermedia project, The sea is spread and cleaved and furled published by Prototype in 2020, and a film - I'm thinking what would sound sincere but also, like, oh, that's super cute, selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries (2020).
"A messy, disturbing triumph in the traditions of Arthur Rimbaud and John Berryman: how Le Bateau ivre
or The Dream Songs
would read if they'd been written today. It too could be the anthem of a generation." -- Fiona Sampson, The Guardian
"There is a breathtaking sense of formal ingenuity, irreverent wit, and unapologetic erudition in Warner's lines. As in his previous collections, allusion occupies an almost central position: the poet emerges a bricoleur of sorts as he generates a cross-hatched poetic landscape from disparate sources. Warner traces the performance and dissolution of the self through poems that are both ludic and sincere; manic and darkly comic; subversive and deeply vulnerable." - Shalini Sengupta, Poetry Book Society Bulletin, Winter 2022