Little Acts of Vigilance by Miriam Gamble

Little Acts of Vigilance by Miriam Gamble


In stock

In Little Acts of Vigilance, the first collection of essays published by The Lifeboat, poet Miriam Gamble attends with precision to that which is often invisible. Inhabiting a space where the legacy of the prose poem and the propulsion of the modern lyric essay meet, these works defy easy categorization, demanding only your attention. Punctured with linguistic acrobatics and a poet’s feel for rhythm and sound, these works oscillate between bawdy narrative and philosophical enquiry – varying modes of address cast the net of this book impossibly wide, as it considers questions as tangible as class modality and as elusive as that which exists, unknowable, within the self. Miriam Gamble is looking outward and inward simultaneously, writing the dilapidation of street corners and pubs with the same musicality as she writes the tiny feline-like creature that stalks the mind’s corridors and embodies self-disdain, self-destruction. These are essays of art, intimacy, paranoia and poetry.

‘Miriam Gamble’s essays are object lessons in the movement from the particular to the universal. The individual places her gaze alights upon—The North of Ireland, Scotland, Spain—are recorded in all their beautiful, ambivalent local detail, but she is too good to be content with recording what she sees. Instead, her tenaciously questioning mind keeps penetrating further beneath the world’s manifest surfaces, bringing to light the hidden mechanics of the self as it forms in relation to the world, the world as it forms in relation to the self. She can be witty, cool, angry, defiant, and loving, obsessed with detail and panoramically capacious; in this she is just like anyone, but what amazes me in this book is Gamble’s bravery as she goes about attempting to bring these heterogeneous bits of personhood into some kind of unity, all the while casting necessary doubt as to whether such a unity is desirable, or even possible.’ —Padraig Regan

‘In Little Acts of Vigilance, Miriam Gamble evokes place by writing about its thresholds. Her essays bring us to the ‘bounds of the known’ by way of a devotional attention to the particularities of language—its beauty, its violence, its ability to make and unmake the world.’ —Sarah Bernstein

Miriam Gamble has published three books of poems with Bloodaxe Books: The Squirrels Are Dead (2010), Pirate Music (2014) and What Planet (2019). What Planet won the 2020 Pigott Poetry Prize; she has also received the Somerset Maugham Award, an Eric Gregory Award, the Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize and the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary Award. Originally from Belfast, she has lived in Scotland since 2010 and is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh.

Additional Information

Weight300 g
Dimensions22 × 15 × 3 cm