**SHORTLISTED FOR THE TS ELIOT PRIZE 2020**
From the winner of the Costa Poetry Award
A lone martian returns to Earth. He leaves behind him a hardened survivalist culture, its muddled myths and songs, its continued abuse of the environment that sustains it. During this journey back to the now-broken and long-abandoned mother planet, the martian begins to consider his own uncertain origins, and his own future.
Cut off from his people, the martian's story is that of the individual: his duty at odds with his desire; the race of which he's still a part playing always on his mind, as well as the race that once was. This is the story of what life becomes when stripped of all that makes it worth living - of what humans become when they lose their humanity.
The Martian's Regress is a brilliant, provocative, often darkly comic work that explores what a fragile environment eventually makes of those who persist in tampering with it.
A rippling, impeccable lyricism that’s delicious to read aloud, and a down-to-earth, deadpan violence that recalls Simon Armitage… If you haven’t discovered Morgan, this weird, unsettling trip is the perfect introduction.
Startling... What it does exceptionally well is male clear what ecological catastrophe might feel like as well as look like... What a joy to read and re-read and re-read.
[J. O. Morgan] has quietly established himself as a gifted writer of the long poem... The Martian’s Regress is an imaginative leap… In portraying the variously hopeful, hopeless, comic and bleak ways of apparent aliens, Morgan brings us closer to ourselves.
The Martian’s Regress is a powerful long poem… An interesting and always accessible variation on a dystopian theme… The story remains taut and reverberates…[and] draws elements of humour even from dark places.