Whip-hot & Grippy is a highly innovative ‘collection of possibilities in a state of emergency’. The first part is a series of long-form and sequenced poems punctuated by recurring muzak, advertising-speak, sex scenes, terrorism, broadcast media, consumption-anxiety, protest, and human-animal relations. The book culminates in more flinching, a multi-part poem first published and freely distributed in an exhibition in which news of a military dog, shot in service, was merged with the death of a pet dog.
Whip-hot & Grippy is Heather Phillipson's second collection, following her highly praised debut, Instant-flex 718, published by Bloodaxe in 2013.
‘Next year Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth will hold an enormous dollop of whipped cream, topped with a cherry, a fly and a buzzing drone. Created by British artist and author Heather Phillipson, that sugar-rush sculpture – surreal, witty and grotesque – captures the essence of her poetry.’ – Tristram Fane Saunders, The Telegraph (choosing Whip-hot & Grippy as his Poetry Book of the Month for April 2019)
‘At times tender..., comic/visceral… and philosophical… this epic plays out in multiple poetic forms, both visual and linguistic.’ – Oliver Basciano, ArtReview [on the more flinching’ sequence from Whip-hot & Grippy]
'For all the playfulness in Instant-flex 718, it also addresses the weighty issues – mortality, the relationship between mind and body, the extinction of species, religion – and its lively combination of intelligence, verve and humour makes it a debut that is both unusually accomplished and unusually pleasurable to read.' - Carrie Etter, Guardian, on Instant-flex 718
'A visual artist’s debut book-length collection, in which a My Little Pony is mutilated for art’s sake and a plate of mashed potato epitomises domestic drift. Levity and a likeable, direct voice make this innovative and entertaining summer reading.' - Maria Crawford, Financial Times Summer Reading Guide, on Instant-flex 718
'In poetry, I loved Emily Berry's Dear Boy (Faber), Heather Phillipson's Instant-flex 718 (Bloodaxe) and the whole back catalogue of Ben Lerner.' - Joe Dunthorne, The Observer's Books of the Year 2013
'Phillipson’s work is often very funny as it rebounds from one untenable erotic or intellectual position to another...sounding like the love child of Frank O'Hara and Rosemary Tonks.' – Sean O'Brien, Guardian
'Heather Phillipson’s poems display heroic bafflement... a humour both quirky and robust.' – Andrew McCulloch, Times Literary Supplement
'Instant-flex 718 is an explosive first collection from a poet and artist who thrills and disconcerts in equal measures. Heather Phillipson's poems fuse subterranean erotic landscapes with the complex pleasures of thought. They conduct a weird, addictive verbal electricity that can both jolt and elate. Handle with care: this book is not for those who like their poetry safely earthed.' – Mark Ford