Gareth Jenkins’ work reads like rituals or incantations, corrupted by the manufactured nature of our modern world while constantly seeking to resist that corruption. Historicity, environmental awareness, culture and its wars: these themes and their constant transmutation dominate and destabilise the voices in his poems. In between, the unreliability of language, an overarching self-awareness of privilege and the uncertainty of human relations make the book both alien and deeply personal. His is a project intent on an honest, heartfelt grandeur of connection, all the while haunted by the fear that such human connection is already doomed to a shallow etching of what it might be. Recipes for the Disaster is at once bleak, mystical and strangely life-affirming; an exploration of mysteries, an excavation of hidden failures, an exhortation to be better than we have been.
Publication date: June 2019