Stephen Sexton

Cheryl's Destinies
  • Cheryl's Destinies

  • history is what we call / what might have happened differently / and didn't

    It is the decade of centuries, and Cheryl tells us our fortune. Radicals liberate a zoo, teenagers flirt in a bowling alley, and the dead are cherished. In these inventive, playful, dream-like poems, Stephen Sexton takes us on a journey through the past and the present, while Cheryl translates from the future, showing us how we exist in all three at once.

    Reckoning with both public and private tragedies, the book is divided into three parts. In Part One, the poems range across old Europe: 'Edelweiss' and Titanic setting sail, to a transatlantic, cross-century symposium in Part Two, where W.B. Yeats and Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins perfect their arts in collaboration. In Part Three we are back in the land where the past keeps breaking through, it's practically always the anniversary of something terrible, but there's always Cheryl in the moonlight and her deck of tarot cards.

    A thrillingly strange exploration of the comfort of the fantastical when the real is hard to bear, Cheryl's Destinies is the enchanting follow-up to the Forward Prize-winning If All the World and Love Were Young, by one of the most exciting young poets writing today.

Stephen Sexton lives in Belfast. His poems have appeared in Granta, POETRY, and Best British Poetry 2015. His pamphlet, Oils, was the Poetry Book Society's Winter Pamphlet Choice. He was the winner of the 2016 National Poetry Competition, the recipient of an ACES award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and was awarded an Eric Gregory Award in 2018.

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