“A war-torn landscape pulled together into a devastating comment on the horror and helplessness of being in ‘the zone : From which no civilian returns’, Katabasis is an immense work that can be both complex and varied but also simple and uncompromisingly true. The opening poem, ‘Forwarding’, is an excellent introduction to the whole collection, fusing evocative and specific vocabulary to create utterly original images of noteworthy distinction. ‘I burnt War’s photographs over a grave by the fountain’s dovecote’ contains a multitude of meaning in one finely executed sentence; images of fire, water, death, peace, hope and violence creates an umbrella for the themes Jay explores throughout the pamphlet.” – Foxtrot Uniform magazine (read full review here)
Jay Gao is a writer, critic and translator based in Edinburgh. He is a 2019 winner of the New Poets Prize and his debut pamphlet, Wedding Beasts, was published in 2019. He is a contributing editor at The White Review.