Kit Fan

Halfway through my lifethe reeds by Meguro Riverwhere the ducks made lovestop whistling. I fear I’ve over-inked, or the linseed oilsoured the sky. The windtastes of oysters grilledover autumn soil.A fish draws a ripple,or did a raindrop win?My papers will topplethe house before the tinroof falls. I’d better make hasteand find a new address.A long-legged fly by the watercressskates upstream, brazen-faced.What I need now, to changethe half-course of my life,is to be struck by lightningand survive it, like Hokusai.

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Kit Fan’s third poetry collection The Ink Cloud Reader is shortlisted for the Forward Prize Best Collection 2023. He is the author of two books of poems, As Slow As Possible (2018) and Paper Scissors Stone (2011).  His first novel is Diamond Hill (2021). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2022 and appointed as a Non-Executive Director of the Author’s Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) in 2023. 

"A moving, lyrically potent collection charting the interconnected impacts of political and personal fracture... Here the losses of place and the losses of the body tumble into each other, creating a painfully raw yet deeply affecting poetic universe."
—Rebecca Tamás, The Guardian

"Kit Fan's poems are a kind of lyric vortex: imagistic fictions that wrap themselves around a hard, lyrical, personal centre, something like the complexity of a seed. This collection holds at its core the tension of what to say and how to say it, gloriously in celebration of ambivalence, and questioning."
—Rachael Allen

'The compressed narratives in The Ink Cloud Reader demonstrate both lyric intensity and a remarkable dramatic reach. In this impressive third collection, Kit Fan's restless, explorative, compositional impulse is evident from first to last [...] The poems in this collection — personal, political, edgy, sometimes provocative — have a unifying voice both intriguing and wholly original."
—David Harsent

"In The Ink Cloud Reader, Kit Fan's moving, wise and fluid poems grapple with the forces 'converting loss to some form / of chaos'. The book's vivid portrait of a marriage, quickened by sickness and the threat of separation, presents love as a play of shadow and light. Fan gets stranger, more daring, with each successive book: he is an essential poet, and one I will always return to."
—Sarah Howe

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