"One poet’s inability to absolve himself the burden of complicity in violence is best mitigated by platforming the victims of structural violence, highlighting how they already have agency, recognising that it is their work that is leading the collective work of absolution. The great gift of 'identity politics' discussions to contemporary poetry has always been that it has renewed our common life by setting those discussions within its terms."
"They know that other people have access to forms of knowledge that they don’t, but to admit that lack of knowledge would destroy the image of themselves they have fashioned."
"Can’t you see how fucking reasonable all this is? How nice and serious a guy I was? And my heightened willingness to register how articulating all this feels is part of the problem: a structural anxiety that I believe is built into how post-liberalism works was playing out as embodied anxiety within me."
"The terms for what a perfect world looks like are already determined, and promised, in Christ – even as those terms become the basis for infinite speculation, speculation that I am free to prosecute on broadly left-wing terms without reducing it to the expression of a “religious left”. Put simply, I want to go to Heaven with people I disagree with."
"I want to stand with Dave in acknowledging what’s politically at stake here – what it might mean for UK poetry, and culture more generally, that Black Sun has been nominated and might win (and I agree with Dave that we shouldn’t have reached this stage) – but I see the work that needs to be done, or perhaps the work that I can best do, slightly differently."
"You wonder whether this academic’s approach leaves too little space to account for the political necessity of white men finding ways to make sacrifices without such recuperation. Perhaps we should step back from the field of political action, in order to allow those whose agency we seek to activate to get on with it."
"To be faithful can be to move freely between being faithful to an individual and to the group, in steps whose ethics remain to be discovered. The job of rules might be to fail."