2022 - Winner
Dan Disney’s accelerations & inertias dissects the psychogeography of information, knowledge and lived experience of place and time into glistening fragments. These fragments cluster into channels of almost-narrative, rethinking the vivid experience of humanity in a world that is simultaneously ancient and hyper-modern. The ‘I’ in these poems is a distiller and reshaper of observation, a protagonist exploring the ethics of knowledge and creative production in the time of digital capital. The balance in this collection between keen observation of ever-changing social modalities and a recognition of the internality of perception allows Disney to fashion a visionary poetics that delves into the nature of consciousness.
The collection is energised by its respectful and adventurous engagement with the traditional Korean sijo form. Disney works on the edge of the sijo, testing its aphoristic nature, experimenting with machine translations and working to question and destabilise the reader’s relationship with language. In doing so Disney delivers language which is pared back, intricately crafted and committed to both questioning and recording the kinetic experience of the twenty-first century. This collection is utterly of its time, of the now, genuinely humanistic, deeply aware of place and the intricacies of responsibility and care.
accelerations & inertias balances mobility and stillness, gnomic contraction and allusive expansion, blazing ambition and idiosyncratic humour. The poems’ exploration of observing offers a radical consideration of the poetic ‘I’, and its place in the human and more-than-human worlds. All this is managed with deftness and aplomb, in a collection that is surprising, radical, provocative and tender. This is a book about poetry’s breath and its potential to open up the world in exhilarating ways.