A History & Every Wrong Direction by Dan Burt, Online Book Launch, 7pm, Wednesday 11 January 2023

Please join us to celebrate the double launch of Every Wrong Direction: An Emigré’s Memoir (Carcanet Press) and A History (Prototype) by Dan Burt. Dan will be joined in conversation by Michael Schmidt of Carcanet Press and Jess Chandler of Prototype. The event will feature readings and discussion, and audience members will have the opportunity to ask their own questions.

Register here and let us know you can make it by joining the Facebook event.

Every Wrong Direction recreates and dissects the bitter education of Dan Burt, an American emigré who never found a home in America. It begins in the row homes of Jewish immigrants and working-class Italians on the mean streets of 1950s South Philadelphia. Every Wrong Direction follows the author from the rough, working-class childhood that groomed him to be a butcher or charter boat captain, through America, Britain, and Saudi Arabia as student, lawyer, spy, culture warrior, and expatriate, ending with a photo of his college rooms at St John’s College, Cambridge. Between this beginning and end, through a Philadelphia commuter college, to Cambridge, then Yale Law School, across the working to upper classes, three countries, and seven cities over forty three years, it maps his pursuit of, realisation, disillusionment with, and abandonment of America and the American Dream.

A History is an elegiac 10-poem sequence, written about and in memory of Jill Robinson, a vital and continual presence in the poet’s life for almost seven decades, until her death from cancer in 2018. Burt’s eye is acute, unsentimental, and self-critical, unflinching in its depiction of illness, and unrequited love. His language has a Yeatsian severity, charged by vulnerability and an acute and expansive historical awareness. Published to coincide with his personal-political memoir Every Wrong Direction (Carcanet), A History is a major work from a writer whose life story and poetic sensibility takes us to places not often captured in poetry.