MSt tutor Jane Draycott’s new collection, The Occupant, which is a Poetry Society Recommendation, will be published by Carcanet Press on 24th November 2016.
“‘I’ve waited some time to read something this intelligent, this sensuous and this crystalline.’ – The Guardian on The Night Tree
‘The language is marvellously modulated yet stirringly wild. Draycott has carried over into our tamer, tired world a strong, strange sense of how original, gorgeous and natural this old poem can be.’ – David Morley, Poetry Review
Following her T.S. Eliot Prize-nominated Over, Jane Draycott’s fourth collection, The Occupant, illuminates the quiet intricacies and brief intimacies of urban life. In the National Gallery, a gardener steals part of a still-life canvas to replant in his own garden; on a winter train a commuter imagines his braver, doppelgänger as a firefighter; in an abandoned sanatorium, a grand piano dreams of former days, ‘rose-spotted paintwork peeling softly, half-moon fanlights rising, sinking’, waiting for anyone to return. At the heart of these imagined scenes the long title poem, ‘The Occupant’, draws on settings proposed but left unwritten by Dutch poet Martinus Nijhoff in his great 1934 modernist narrative Awater. In the stifling summer air, Draycott’s occupant trawls the streets of an unnamed city, while ‘at tills and kiosks police post notices, ‘Missing: Have you seen this wind?’”