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Topic: Alison Goodwin

Pressures that Refine: Zachariah Wells’ Sum

In Zachariah Wells’ third book, Sum, nearly half of the poems are written, perhaps paradoxically, with reference to the life and work of others. Included in this select brotherhood are labourers and mathematicians, poets and economists, scientists, theists, atheists. The constraint opens up a range of subjects and perspectives through which Wells explores questions relating to states of being and how language can respond to these states. What pressures are put on in alternative psychological or neurological states? What is it to be a deep-sea creature, still trying to breathe, on the deck of a boat? What does living mean after the life you’ve known has been stripped from you?