Scratch & Sniff
By Peter Van De Kamp

Peter Van De Kamp (Author), Lim Lee Ching  (Editor), Jeremy Fernando  (Foreword)

Scratch & Sniff 

Paperback – September 20, 2010 |  166 pages | ISBN-10: 0982706758 | ISBN-13: 978-0982706756

"An erudite conversation with the European tradition combines in these poems with often comic interactions between the poetic persona and his neighbours, family, friends, and his dog. Yet they are painfully agnostic about their own range of reference and whether it reaches beyond the confines of the individual soul. This drama is conveyed in clipped lines, equivocal transitions and picaresque narrative that work to mute and dissimulate the joy and despair of self-transcendence. Like the work of another European melancholic of recent memory they have the Jesuit strain injected the wrong way, and the result is a beautiful, humorous, and strangely topical book." --- John Richard Tangney, assistant professor of English, Nanyang Technological University ------ There is a fair bit of scratching and sniffing in this book-from an old dog in the opening poem to a fat, bald drunken satyr in the closing one. That dog is Mickey, van de Kamp's gorgeous bearded collie, whom the poet leftbehind, with his darling wife, when he took up a visiting professorship in Singapore this year. Yes: Caroline, his wife, features prominently in this book too-these poems pretend to be intensely personal. Van de Kamp takes us on a winter's journey through a bleak landscape of loss and despair. But the sentiment is universal and never sentimental: Silenus, that satyr, won't have any of that. Scratch & Sniff gives you a mischievous, and very sexy sad smile. A synergy of words, music, beautiful typesetting and stunning illustrations. ------ PETER VAN DE KAMP was born in The Hague, Holland. This is his third book of poetry. He has taught English and Anglo-Irish Literature at Leiden University and at University College Dublin. He is currently visiting professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. LIM LEE CHING teaches and writes about poetry; he works with theories of war and violence. JEREMY FERNANDO is the Jean Baudrillard Fellow at the European Graduate School.Scratch Sniff&poems by PETER VAN DE KAMPthis is art.