The Alexandra Sequence

John Redmond

Carcanet Collection  

In The Alexandra Sequence John Redmond views contemporary urban life through the suggestive prism of the ‘mummers play’, a seasonal British folk-theatre staged in the streets and door-to-door. The book’s title takes its name from an area of Liverpool, a city shaped by its recent history of trade and migration, still recovering after a long period of decline. Experiences of urban uprootedness and social precarity shape suburban livelihoods that are ‘livid with accident’. Drawing on the two central themes of the mummers play – combat and resurrection – the poems reveal both dark and light parallels between the modern neighbourhood and medieval theatre: the carnivalesque zombie-drummers marching through a local park find their mirror-image in the daily disguises of life in a housing estate, or in the masked infractions of the 2011 England Riots. Mixing narrative and lyric, Redmond paints a neighbourhood of lively, unlikely references, from Juvenal to Tommy Cooper, Brueghel to indie rock.

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Subjects: Contemporary, Literature, Poetry

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In The Alexandra Sequence John Redmond views contemporary urban life through the suggestive prism of the ‘mummers play’, a seasonal British folk-theatre staged in the streets and door-to-door. The book’s title takes its name from an area of Liverpool, a city shaped by its recent history of trade and migration, still recovering after a long period of decline. Experiences of urban uprootedness and social precarity shape suburban livelihoods that are ‘livid with accident’. Drawing on the two central themes of the mummers play – combat and resurrection – the poems reveal both dark and light parallels between the modern neighbourhood and medieval theatre: the carnivalesque zombie-drummers marching through a local park find their mirror-image in the daily disguises of life in a housing estate, or in the masked infractions of the 2011 England Riots. Mixing narrative and lyric, Redmond paints a neighbourhood of lively, unlikely references, from Juvenal to Tommy Cooper, Brueghel to indie rock.

  • Author: John Redmond
  • Publisher: Carcanet
  • ISBN: 9781784102043

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