PJ Harvey is set to release new narrative poem Orlam next year.
The work is six years in the making, and traces a coming of age tale in a magic-realist version of the West Country.
Written entirely in Dorset dialect, it will be published with a facing-page English translation - the blurb runs as follows...
Orlam follows Ira and the inhabitants of Underwhelem month by month through the last year of her childhood innocence. The result is a poem-sequence of light and shadow – suffused with hints of violence, sexual confusion and perversion, the oppression of family, but also ecstatic moments in sunlit clearings, song and bawdy humour. The broad theme is ultimately one of love – carried by Ira’s personal Christ, the constantly bleeding soldier-ghost Wyman-Elvis, who bears ‘The Word’: Love Me Tender.
Orlam will be first published in Picador Poetry hardback format in April 2022; a special collector’s edition containing Harvey’s own illustrative artwork follows in October 2022.
PJ Harvey comments: “Having spent six years working on Orlam with my friend, mentor and editor Don Paterson, I am very happy to publish this book of poetry with Picador. Picador feels absolutely the right home for it, and it’s an honour to be in the company of poets like Jacob Polley, Denise Riley and Carol Ann Duffy.”
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