John Stammers has a poetic mind original enough to read the most mundane and familiar events as great portents and wonders, and an eye clear enough to uncover the surreal when it’s right under our noses. Stammers’ third collection is a vast map of an imaginative space that coincides with the known world, but radically changes the way we perceive it. Interior Night sees a restlessly eclectic mind engaged with the whole range of human creation, from our cultural icons to our cultural detritus: here the reader may encounter Alison Goldfrapp alongside characters who could be ancient Greek demigods or shifting avatars of silent-screen goddesses. There are dramatic monologues from the dark worlds of poverty and addiction – as well as typically unsettling run-ins with the shades of Rimbaud, Sterne and Keats. Stammers has focused all his celebrated daring, his oblique strategies and often outrageous personifications to produce for us a book of great emotional candour and seriousness.
‘Beneath the sharp social satire lurks a psychological insight, a sensitivity to a profound cultural inheritance.’ The Times
‘A frame of reference ranging from the scabrous to the desolately chic, as if Tristan Corbière were trying to get over an affair with Angelina Jolie.’ Clive James
‘Talent is unignorable.’ Cressida Connolly