About Ahren Warner

Ahren Warner grew up in Lincolnshire before moving to London, then Paris. He is the author of two collections of poetry, Confer (Bloodaxe, 2011), which was both a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection (2011) and Pretty (Bloodaxe, 2013), also a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. He is working on a third, Hello. Your Promise Has Been Extracted. Warner is poetry editor of Poetry London.

Many of the poems included in this Archive recording situate Warner as a modern day flâneur and draw particularly on the landscapes of London and Paris. The speaker reflects on his surroundings, as in the humourous lines ‘On Avenue de l’Opéra | or Rue des Petits Champs, I find myself so often || fixated by a girl’s derrière’, and, through the stimulus of the city, comes to reflect on himself too; ‘l'étranger is not this man in the window just off the Euston Road | but rather a shifting in this me that is’.

The modern day wanderer takes in not just the city, but the contemporary cultural landscape produced by works of art and poetry. This is clear from the seven sections of the Metousiosis sequence included here; each title comes from an iconic work of art, arranged chronologically. As in the earlier sequence Lutèce, te amo, the poems may not immediately seem linked – they certainly do not form any conventionally coherent narrative – but their impact depends on their strangely fragmented and alien completeness and their message is of the search for a bodily completeness. It makes a strange kind of sense to understand bodily forms through the abstractions of art, rather than the airbrushed and unattainable images that proliferate our media.

At times, Warner’s learned intellectual references to theorists, philosophies and artwork might create a dense verse. Amidst this sea of allusion, there is even reason in what isn’t said. On the page many of Warner’s poems make use of eyecatching spacing between the words and let the silence punctuate, drawing attention to what Derrida calls the ‘brisure’ (hinge) between the words. It is from this theory that ‘La Brisure’ takes both its title and shape, and in reading this poem for his Archive recording, the spatial hinge becomes aural. There is a refreshingly irreverent wit in his poetry that comes from situating the academic alongside the lived experience. The poem which takes its title from the Greek for Dionysus (‘Διόνυσος’) addresses not the God of wine, ecstasy and madness, but a lolling London boy on a bus being slapped by his infuriated girlfriend. Just as in ‘Sitzender männlicher Akt’ there is more ‘beyond this party trick of intellect’.

Ahren Warner’s recording was made on March 9th 2012 at ID Studio, London, UK, and was produced by John Green.

Pretty, Bloodaxe, 2013

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Confer, Bloodaxe, 2011

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Re:, Donut Press, 2011

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Prizes

2011 Forward Prize for Best First Collection (Shortlist) for Confer (Bloodaxe)

2013 Michael Murphy Memorial Prize (Shortlist) for Confer (Bloodaxe)

Recordings

Ahren Warner Downloads

1La brisure

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2Hasard

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3Brumes et pluies

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4About suffering they were never wrong, the Old Masters

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5Suite de danses

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7Dactylogram (Nietzsche)

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8Pictogramme

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9Re:

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10I La carte postale

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11II Tempo di Menuetto

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12III Works and Days

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13Leman

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14Homage to E3

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15Hangin' Round

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16Διόνυσος

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17αἱ μοῦσαι

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18Mνημοσύνη

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19Epistle

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20Troia Nova

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21Nocturne

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22I Here (from Lutèce, te amo)

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23V How (from Lutèce, te amo)

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24VI Now (from Lutèce, te amo)

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25VII Pablo (from Lutèce, te amo)

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26VIII My (from Lutèce, te amo)

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27IX Between (from Lutèce, te amo)

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29XV However deep (from Lutèce, te amo)

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30XVIII Before (from Lutèce, te amo)

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31XIX Thus (from Lutèce, te amo)

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32XX Having (from Lutèce, te amo)

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33Hello London

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34CAPITONYMS etc.

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36Ego

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36Mille platitudes

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37[L'avocat, 1866] (from Metousiosis)

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38[Sitzender männlicher Akt, 1910] (from Metousiosis)

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39[Le Boeuf écorché, 1924] (from Metousiosis)

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40[1947-J, 1947] (from Metousiosis)

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41[Study after Vélazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, 1953] (from Metousiosis)

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42[Head of J.Y.M II, 1984-85] (from Metousiosis)

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43[Nice 'n Easy, 1999] (from Metousiosis)

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44XI Between (from Lutèce, te amo)

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Books by Ahren Warner