"Radio Nostalgia" uses a range of personas and historical locations to examine our sense of community and what our lives can mean. Reporting back from the frontiers of conflicts and consumerism, we enter a world mediated through news anchors, oracles and narrators, where often violent simulations of national conviction fall dangerously short of being human. "As palliative as a corpse in a junkyard, "Radio Nostalgia" doesn't relax you so much as it opens a way into wakefulness. With a stunning lexicon, short phrases stuffed with grit, petrol and spleen, Chris Emery orchestrates a complex, resistant music into one to three-beat lines as our 'countdown to armaments'. He refuses to look away from the tableau vivant of degradation. 'It is (as promised) all here for you now', he writes, a twenty-first century so wounded and blot that only the language that crawls over it shimmers with its implicit hope for transformation and redemption" - Forrest Gander.
Chris Emery lives in Cromer with his wife and children. He works in publishing. His has written two previous collections of poetry, a writer's guide and edited editions of Emily Brontë, John Keats and Christina Rossetti. His work has been widely published in magazines and anthologised, most recently in Identity Parade: New British and Irish Poets (Bloodaxe, 2010). He is a contributor to The Cambridge Companion to Creative Writing (Cambridge University Press, 2012), edited by David Morley and Philip Neilsen. His latest collection of poetry is The Departure (Salt, 2012).
Chris Hamilton-Emery grew up in Manchester and went to a convent-run primary school in New Moston before attending grammar school in Prestwich. It was following this that he began to study sculpture, painting and printmaking. He continued at Manchester College of Art and Design before taking a degree at Leeds Polytechnic, graduating in 1986. He subsequently destroyed all his art work, and began to focus upon his writing.
After a brief attempt to train as an art teacher, he began work in a variety of jobs: insurance clerk, an administrator in a haematology department, a data manager in an oncology department, an information designer in public transport, and design manager at the British Council, before embarking on a publishing career -- ending up as a director at Cambridge University Press. He left to concentrate on writing and literary publishing in 2002.
Writing as Chris Emery, his poetry began appearing in journals throughout the 1990s including The Age, Jacket, Magma, Poetry London, Poetry Review, Poetry Wales, PN Review, Quid and The Rialto. He was anthologised in New Writing 8 in 1999. A pamphlet, The Cutting Room, was published by Barque in 2000. A first full-length poetry collection, Dr. Mephisto, was published by Arc in 2002, a second collection of poetry, Radio Nostalgia, was published by Arc in 2006. He has travelled to perform his work in the USA and Australia.
Emery's poetry is characterised by a dystopian vision of the world, the use of varied personae, an exuberant vocabulary, black humour and dramatic changes in register and tone. His work can shift between mainstream poetics and wild experimentation, often combining both within a single volume. His central themes appear to be the incongruousness of moral experience within modern society, the collapse or eradication of identity, and non-spiritual or secular redemption. However, in The Departure we see a significant extension of range in poems which are more directly emotional, accessible and often humorous.
He is also the author of a writers' guide on publishing and marketing poetry, 101 Ways to Make Poems Sell.
He is Publishing Director of Salt Publishing an independent literary press now based in Cromer, England. He was awarded an American Book Award in 2006 for his services to American literature. Hamilton-Emery has sat on the Boards of the Independent Publishers Guild and Planet Poetry, and occasionally works as a consultant in the publishing industry in the United Kingdom. He lives in Cromer with his wife and three children.