book review: date of birth, time of death: pp hartnet

December 21, 2016

date of birth, time of death

pp hartnet


The work of PP Hartnett can be described as a creative tumult, a powerful clash of the desirable and the unacceptable, ultimately a fertile ground for revolt and the sort of truth-telling that destabilises normalcy and the arid routines of the mind. Photographer and musician, novelist, poet, and short-story writer, Hartnett embraces the endless possibilities of each genre, often arriving at a place of collision between them.

Hartnet’s new poetry, is utterly uncompromising, his urgent, honest words have sent shudders up the squeaky clean puritan corridors of ITunes content corridors. Interesting that queer poems could cause such hand wringing and puritan commercial anguish. Of course it’s not the content  (ironically enough) considering the opening poems title ‘content warning ‘of the work, but the focus.

harnets work has a deep interest in the shadows of the other gaze, sexual, violent, savage, passionate, particularly ones that the endless flickering light of the internet throws contrast and unflinching illumination into, it never easy, but then it’s not meant to be. It’s punchy, practical, and well-honed heft will slap you with its audacity, and then comfort you with the cold comfort of truth. It’s never clear if this is fantasy, confession or observation in the many seriously sexual gay male spaces Hartnet is very familiar with, but its sharp edged needling voice won’t let you put this book down.

Presented with as much understated elegance as the prose it’s written in, this is a superb and unexpected treat for the winter season.  Poetry for the now, presented by a man unflinching in his desires.

For more info or to buy this (very)  limited edition print run see hartnets’s website here: 

  • due : 01 january, 2017
  • publisher : autopsy
  • format : print, hardback
  • limited edition : 50 copies at 10 pounds
  • availability : via this site and at readings