Life Without Air
When Louis Pasteur discovered the process of fermentation in the 1870s, he noted that, while most organisms perished from lack of oxygen, some were able to adapt and even thrive as 'life without air'. In this capricious, dreamlike collection, characters and scenes traverse states of airlessness, from suffocating relationships, religions and institutions to toxic environments and ecstatic asphyxiations. Both compassionate and ecologically nuanced, this innovative collection bridges poetry and prose to interrogate the conditions necessary for survival.
A vivid and evocative collection… this will certainly put [Lafarge] on the map… Fusing science, literature and art, Lafarge intellectually explores the ecosystem that human environments can permeate… Lafarge has set the bar high with this wonderful debut collection.
For anyone who views science and the arts as opposing methods of understanding the world, this debut poetry collection will soon make it clear that it is where the two subjects mingle that is the sweetest spot… [Lafarge’s] approach may appear scientific, but it is warm-blooded and intimate as much as it is mind-expanding.
Lafarge’s is a fierce, clear-eyed poetry that expresses the sticky relationality between human pain and non-human destruction; the unsettling intimacy of our shared afflictions.
A particularly sublime debut collection.
A new book which held my wavering attention from first page to last, has been Daisy Lafarge's Life Without Air. This book's poetry deftly melds nonhuman, environmental exploration with biting considerations of misogyny and toxic relationships. It's fiercely original, strange and vital.
To encounter Daisy Lafarge’s Life Without Air is to be plunged into a cosmos radically at odds with itself… This is a collection in which things inexplicably disappear (the “opinions” of men with “ideas”, for example, who wake to discover themselves “on the wrong side of history”). Into these resonant gaps, Lafarge pitches her restless, philosophical enquiry, suffused with existential anxiety at the end of the Industrial Age… Mercurial, ingenious, and prophetic, this is poetry of and for our off-kilter times.
Differently impressive ... dense and dissonant.Sunday Times