Dead Poets' Society: A radical new work of literary detection re-imagines the English canon. What makes a writer a great writer? Why are some books read and loved long after their creation, and others forgotten - lost to the archives? Will anyone remember us when we are gone? In the Catacombs, released today, is the first instalment of a literary project to map London's Magnificent Seven cemeteries. Poet-librarian Chris McCabe takes us off the main track of English literature and asks why the works of Tennyson, Hopkins and Emily Dickinson are still read above those buried in a suburban enclave of south London.
Join McCabe on the hunt for a great lost poet, as he walks the winding Gothic paths of West Norwood Cemetery and makes an unexpected discovery underground in the catacombs. The stories of those loved and dismissed by Charles Dickens are carefully uncovered; those who influenced Lewis Carroll and Winston Churchill; and those whose burial in the common ground has not been enough to silence them.
London literary magus Iain Sinclair has called In the Catacombs "a fine, achieved work, close-woven, elusive, engaged." Its author is a leading light in a new generation of British poets breaking new ground with their sharp, witty and intelligent writing. A startling and original work of literary detection, In the Catacombs is written in a hybrid form - part literary criticism, part Gothic fiction- and places West Norwood Cemetery and its dead poets back into the foreground of the cultural psyche.
Chris McCabe was born in Liverpool in 1977. His three poetry collections are The Hutton Inquiry, Zeppelins and THE RESTRUCTURE. He has recorded a CD with The Poetry Archive and was shortlisted for the 2014 Ted Hughes Award. McCabe's prose has appeared in numerous places including Poetry Review, Manhattan Review and Unbound. His work has been described by The Guardian as 'an impressively inventive survey of English in the early 21st century.' He works as the Poetry Librarian at the Saison Poetry Library.