On the heels of his much-lauded debut collection, Raymond Antrobus continues his investigation into language, miscommunication, place, race and memory while simultaneously exploring new ground in both form and content.
Antrobus is leaping gracefully into new forms, punctuating sections with captions inspired by deaf sound artist Christine Sun Kim ... There are fine poems for his partner Tabitha providing warm relief alongside the loneliness of poems about race and disability ... One of Antrobus’s greatest gifts lies in the way he expresses loneliness with courage and humour so that a particular life can be understood, its urgent code concrete and pressing[.]
Antrobus’s poems are elegiac, often dwelling among the dead—always reaching for another world ... his poetry transcends speech, sound, silence, words—and what we are left with, when we close this astonishing book, is the vibration of the emotion on the blank page.
Identity, in all its complexities, is explored in this collection, with silence itself becoming a pillar in that construction ... Formally inventive, these pieces bring to the fore precise silences which so often fall between the gaps of reader recognition ... So much of All the Names Given is this unwrapping of necessary communications: it is a gift of realisations for the reader to explore and come back to again and again.