Death Magazine is a radical and hyper-contemporary poetry collection that takes the worlds of wellness, beauty, fitness and lifestyle, tears them apart and blends them with everything from pop music lyrics to science fiction.
What emerges is the black mirror of a magazine from an alternate dimension - one where meaning and logic are thoroughly shook up and given a bath in violent-pink paint. Soft soap interviews about fathering giant isopods share column inches with Brad Pitt, who is turning into a rainbow through his workout regime; Grace Jones, who acts as a God-cum-android; and young men for whom the body ideal is Sigourney Weaver’s portrayal of Ellen Ripley in Alien.
These poems explore the extent to which we are romanced, persuaded and mentally punished by advertising into obsessing over every facet of our existence, and uses this as a springboard to look at how even our very identities are packaged and sold.
Futuristic, nightmarish, blackly comic, and limitless in its mixing of pop culture, this book is entirely its own beautiful monster and, ultimately, is passionately pro-human.
PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK
“Barbie, Grace Jones, silicon immortality, The Alien, computer games – some of the subjects around which Matthew Haigh’s poetry coalesces in this sparkling collection. Despite a kaleidoscopic mixture of cultural references, there’s a sense of an uncompromising and focussed vision emerging from a still presence at the heart of the poetry. The book is funny, sharp, touching and completely itself. I wholeheartedly recommend it.” Mark Waldron
"Your luxury fitness lifestyle is undoubtedly lacking in poetry. It is also, like the famous people poetried in this book, mediated by invisible hands. Hands that tool your wellbeing up and down with the weather. You need armour. You'll find it in these pages. Full of surrealistic intensity, black humour, linguistic and formal play, all allied with a dark wit that might protect your brain in the depths of night, Matthew Haigh's Death Magazine is a collection of poems that skewers without cruelty, observes with its teeth, and sees what now needs seeing.” SJ Fowler
‘Death Magazine is a textual-visual black hole where gravitational forces collapse all matter into an unconditional point of no return. It’s the kind of black hole that winks at you from afar, and you can’t escape its deadly charm. This present-day commentary sucks the reader deep into its infinite universe of black humour, idiosyncrasy and formal inventiveness, with its strong echoes of surrealism. Matthew Haigh’s poetic voice, full of edge and depth, is contemporary and captivating, and Death Magazine is certainly a book not to be missed.’ —Astra Papachristodoulou
‘Exquisitely crafted, elegant and dark dark dark. Poems that nudge me to up my game.’ —James Knight
“Death Magazine is a caustic satire of bien pensant advice, empty mindfulness and self-promotion masquerading as humanity. But what sets Haigh apart are the brilliant flashes of insight amidst the beautiful chaos, the sense of endurance against having ‘known so many men who see no point in living’. It’s powerful and heartfelt, almost in spite of itself. As a poet he pushes on through the emptiness, the ephemera, the soft-soap interviews and plastic monuments and finds meaning, and it’s an honour to be taken there with him.” Luke Kennard