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All the Names Given

By: Raymond Antrobus
Narrated by: Raymond Antrobus
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Summary

From the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 2019 

Shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize 2021

Raymond Antrobus’ astonishing debut collection, The Perseverance, won both Rathbone Folio Prize and the Ted Hughes Award, amongst many other accolades; the poet’s much anticipated second collection, All the Names Given, continues his essential investigation into language, miscommunication, place, and memory. 

Throughout, All the Names Given is punctuated with [Caption Poems] partially inspired by deaf sound artist Christine Sun Kim, which attempt to fill in the silences and transitions between the poems, as well as moments inside and outside of them. Direct, open, formally sophisticated, All the Names Given breaks new ground both in form and content: the result is a timely, humane and tender book from one of the most important young poets of his generation.

©2021 Raymond Antrobus (P)2021 Macmillan Publishers International Limited

Critic reviews

"[Raymond Antrobus] has built another beautiful paper house which you can spend a very long and deeply satisfying time inside." (Mark Haddon)

"Moving deftly between tenderness and violence, hope and grief, praise and lament, this is a deeply evocative collection that will linger in the reader’s mind." (Guardian

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Warning: persistent soundtrack

This title is difficult to review because I loved the poems here as much as loved Antrobus's first collection, but the audio version has a persistent soundtrack that comprises various sounds of rain and water striking objects, an enervating drone on a single pitch, un-pitched background noise, and horrible popping sounds, that mean that it is exceptionally difficult for anyone with misophonia or any other neurodiversity that causes sensitivity to certain kinds of sounds.

I really wanted to be able to just hear Antrobus speak his poems, as he is an excellent reader. Instead, over 50% of the poems here were marred (in fact, made impossible to listen to as far as I was concerned) by the horrible noises that were going on in the background and which, for me, crowded out his words, distracted entirely, and made me so anxious with the cognitive overload that I had to pause and then skip to the end of the affected track.

If nothing else, it gave me a chance to reflect on the difficult intersectionality of various audio-related forms of human diversity, a thought worth pondering. But I would only recommend this audio version to those who are entirely neurotypical.