Your island is sinking.
This rainy kingdom. This deflated swamp. This sulky empire where it’s always Tuesday morning.
The process is already underway, but there’s still time before it all collapses – so why not take a tour?
Grotesque, whimsical and ever so slightly furious, Stefan Mohamed’s new collection is a surreal itinerary for an end-of-the-road trip. No lessons. No catharsis. Just the journey and the sinking land.
In Farewell Tour, Stefan Mohamed takes us on a hellish road trip through the psyche of a mean and defeated nation. It is hard to think of a poet who goes further in creating a new poetic register from materials not usually found in poetry. The language of Farewell Tour comes from popular media and social media; it sneers, preens and insinuates. None of this is accidental. Mohamed is a skilful poet with a brilliant knack for refashioning the rhetoric of disposable media into lines which convey an extraordinary energy; but the true purpose of these poems is moral. We are shown the ugliness of our culture. In some places the ugliness is replicated within the poems, but what we also get is some of the sharpest satire and most inventive writing you will find in any book published this year. This is not a melancholic book of disappointed patriotism, lamenting what has happened to our country; it is an outpouring of disgust at the people we have become. Brilliant and horrible in equal measure.” – Tom Sastry, author of You Have No Normal Country To Return To and A Man’s House Catches Fire (Nine Arches Press)
“It’s rare to feel the thudding sadness and crumminess of England skewered with such elan. It’s a bit like coming home from a few nights in literally any city on the continent, no actually, literally any city in the world, still high on their grace and multiplicity and public luxury. And then having to spend ninety minutes on a carcinogenic Tube train next to a man eating a whole chicken with his hands. But what I want to suggest to you is that that’s good, actually, and cathartic, or enematic, and somehow in the slew of everything that suffocates every spark of joy, invention, hope or transfiguration, Stefan Mohamed locates a via negativa towards something better.” – Luke Kennard, Forward Prize Winner, author of Notes On The Sonnets (Penned In The Margins)
“Cheeky, observational and deliciously apocalyptic, Stefan Mohamed’s Farewell Tour is a surreal, satirical road trip of a collection that’s as sharply funny as it is disarmingly beautiful. I never wanted to get out of the passenger seat.” – Molly Naylor, author of Whatever You’ve Got (Bad Betty Press)
“Farewell Tour is a road movie crossed with a fairground ride: thrilling loop-the-loops of language plus a sense of dangling over a frightening drop. As playful as it is smart, this shape-shifting state of the nation satire never lets us rest. Like a hall of mirrors it bring us face to face with grotesques we recognise, horribly, around us. And look, some of them are ourselves.” – Philip Gross, Bloodaxe Poet, TS Eliot Prize winner, National Poetry Competition winner and author of more than 20 poetry collections
“In this refreshingly deranged concept collection about navigating an unwelcoming England through internet din, Stefan Mohamed commits to a dark comic vision with a vengeance. Among swerving perceptions and punchlines, we get poetry like sweets in a glove compartment: ‘a treasure trail of road signs rendered meaningless in the blink of deep time’. If you’ve ever dreamt of finding a work of wild verbal satire in the little free library ‘on Discrepancy Close, Battleborough’… you’re already lost in the world of Farewell Tour.” – Jeremy Noel-Tod, Sunday Times Poetry Critic, Associate Professor – University of East Anglia
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stefan Mohamed is a performing poet, author and freelance editor based in Bristol. He is the author of the Bitter Sixteen Trilogy and Falling Leaves (Salt Publishing), spoken word collection PANIC! (Burning Eye Books) and poetry pamphlet The Marketplace of Ideas (Stewed Rhubarb).
His poetry and comedy videos can be found at youtube.com/bigdumbvoid, and he is always on Twitter (@stefmowords).