Out for Air is the exhilarating first collection by former professional skateboarder Olly Todd. Infused with movement, surprise and play, Out for Air presents a unique vision of the built environment, celebrating places where 'the bridges are endless / beyond the cantilever / of reality'. Each poem is its own event: expansive in scope but intricate in form, a masterclass in precision engineering.
Todd rewires T. S. Eliot's Waste Land in his strange, compelling descriptions of the modern city: melting asphalt; a U-turning taxi; a diner swallowed by a sinkhole.
In this disorientating landscape the skateboarder-poet is genius loci, the spirit of the place. From Manhattan's 'silky streets' and the Pacific Coast Highway to inner-city London and his native Cumbria, together these poems record a life lived on the move, in motion, on the cusp of things. 'I'm dazzled by this wonderful debut.
Todd writes with a tangible physicality, solid as a curb, so that the language itself crunches, glides, grinds. A radically different way of experiencing the built and natural environment and an endlessly engaging, witty, serious and astute new voice.' LUKE KENNARD