Poetry Book Society Recommendation
Shortlisted for the Roehampton Poetry Prize 2018
Hello. Your promise has been extracted is Ahren Warner’s third collection of poems, a book in which the lyric runs in parallel with a series of photographs made by the author across Europe. From Paris, Berlin and Budapest, to Athens during the height of the Greek debt crisis and Kiev in the wake of the Maidan Revolution, the poems and images of this book form what Immanuel Kant might have called a cosmopolitan dialogue: a conversation between two speakers in two utterly different languages.
Though the poems here often begin in conversation with writers and thinkers – from Celan and Plato to David Foster Wallace and Emmanuel Levinas – they are also profoundly and emotionally engaged with the realities of the contemporary world. Hello. Your promise has been extracted is not a polemic. It is neither witness nor reportage. Rather, it is a book that offers an insistent performance of poetic dialogue with the visual, philosophical and human experience it confronts.
'Ahren Warner’s new poems, some in prose, mingle with photographs. These are suggestively washed-out, they depict dilapidation, and the print quality is excellent. Warner’s verse appears to discuss this collocation of scarified surfaces – their bitty, cracked, granular noise, redolent of industrial disuse, and abuse – with the hygienic space in which art is consumed... this is poetry (it is poetry) of extraordinary poise and power.' - Vidyan Ravinthiran, The Poetry Review [on Hello. Your promise has been extracted]
'This ground-breaking book develops a startling, sometimes fierce, always compassionate engagement with the deeply troubled times in which we live. The schema is pitch-perfect in its lyric adaptations and wholly original in the way it incorporates a narrative of images to its purpose. This is work that demands our attention, yes, but more - our involvement.' – David Harsent