EX-Posed: Animal Elegies (Hardcover)

EX-Posed: Animal Elegies By Gordon Meade, Jo-Anne McArthur (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Gordon Meade, Jo-Anne McArthur (Foreword by)


Scottish poet Meade’s second volume of poems reflecting on the lives of animals as photographed by award-winning photographer Jo-Anne McArthur.

Following on from Zoospeak, Scottish poet Gordon Meade’s reflections on the lives of animals in zoos and aquaria as photographed by Toronto-based award-winning photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur and gathered in her book Captive, EX-Posed turns its attention to McArthur’s 2020 curated collection Hidden: Animals in the Anthropocene. Organized into seven sections that cover the experiences of nonhuman animals in factory farms, industrial fisheries, live markets, entertainment, religion, fashion, and amid the climate crisis, each of Meade’s poems takes the form of an elegy “penned” by the nonhuman animals who, due to many different circumstances, find themselves on death row. As with the source material in Hidden, the tenor of EX-Posed is direct and unapologetic, with each poem attempting to capture the essence of the creatures and the horrific situations in which they find themselves. “It’s my hope,” says Meade, “that my words can give voice to the creatures in EX-Posed so that they might be both seen and, in some small way, also heard.”

About the Author

Gordon Meade is a Scottish poet based in the East Neuk of Fife. He has been the Creative Writing Fellow at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, and the Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of Dundee, and has read from his work throughout the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, and Luxembourg. He is the author of eleven other collections of poetry, including In Transit (Enthusiastic Press 2022), Zoospeak (Enthusiastic Press 2020), The Year of the Crab (Cultured Llama Publishing 2017), Les Animots: A Human Bestiary (Cultured Llama Publishing 2015), and Sounds of the Real World (Cultured Llama Publishing 2013).

Praise For…

“Juxtaposed against violent images of animals and their deaths, Gordon Meade’s poems showcase the tortured and unnecessary loss not only of animal life but of animals’ joy, culture, and beauty too. Read in succession these poems offer a simple, but scathing account of the numerous ways in which animals’ bodies, pride, and homes are destroyed by humans’ seemingly insatiable, varied, and violent means of consuming them. Gordon’s words strike the tone of sadness we should all be feeling at how much has been lost and the prevalence of our continued violent relations with animals. I’ll be churning over these words and images for some time.”
—Claudia Hirtenfelder, host of the Animal Turn Podcast.
“With artful simplicity and heartbreaking persistence, the poems in EX-posed march into our hearts like carpenter ants. Their rhythms lay down a drum beat that synchronizes with the thud of our heart, the tap of claws on bars, the drip of blood from a hanging carcass. This is a collection we can complete in a single reading yet the poems within the covers will stay with us forever as a reminder of our humanity and the responsibility that brings. The insistence of each line will beat inside us every time we encounter a nonhuman species, whether behind a fence, inside a cage or on a plate. These poems and the difficult truths that the photographs they accompany illustrate warn us we are animals too and that it’s time to end the suffering we’re causing our fellow earth-mates.”
—Joanna Lilley, poet & author
“Gordon’s poems made me look a little longer and a lot harder and remember who these beings were supposed to be. Which also makes me wonder, who are we supposed to be? Because I don’t think the answer is a species that commits the atrocities that we witness in this book. I hope we are better than that and I think Gordon’s poems might remind us of that as well.”
—Elizabeth Novogratz, Founder and President of Species Unite
“Simple—Striking—Essential. Masterfully, Gordon Meade holds back, saying no more than needs to be said. His portraits of the hidden lives and being of victims of human arrogance and ignorance are raw yet intensely lyrical. A stark accompaniment to the haunting photographs by Jo-Anne McArthur and other activists, throughout the book, pulsing, breathing individuals are telling us: “‘I am—I am—I am, and my life matters.’”
—Teya Brooks Pribac, PhD, Interdisciplinary Scholar, Artist, and Author of Enter the Animal
“These are words that can unravel you, these are words that can remake you.”
—Dr. Richard Twine (he/him), Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences, Department of History, Geography and Social Science (HiGSS), Co-Director of Centre for Human/Animal Studies (CfHAS)

“Having broken new ground in writing about nonhuman animals with Zoospeak’s formal experiments, Gordon Meade and Jo-Ann McArthur return with a fresh triumph, EX-posed. Deeply ingrained stereotypes, which imagine living animals to be nothing more than resources, toys, garbage, or cute ornaments for ‘our’ world, are the veils we humans draw over who nonhumans really are and how they actually live and suffer. In collaboration with vivid images from McArthur’s multi-photographer project, HIDDEN, Meade’s poems quietly but relentlessly draw back those veils. Another radical project from a poetic innovator and an indefatigable photojournalist, EX-posed will warm your heart and leave you shattered.”
 ​—Mandy-Suzanne Wong, author of Listen, we all bleed

“Many of the photographs depict the tragic loss of the animal gaze, especially when eyes look back at us, but the elegies recuperate creaturely embodiment even as death lurks in the shadows. Together the images and poems dramatize that human instrumentalising of animals across national borders, ecological zones, religions and customs is irredeemable.”
—Wendy Woodward, Professor Emerita, Department of English, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
Product Details
ISBN: 9781590566763
ISBN-10: 1590566769
Publisher: Lantern Publishing & Media
Publication Date: October 2nd, 2022
Pages: 148
Language: English