Digital Programme

Chris Agee: Trump Rant

Poet Chris Agee reads from his “startlingly unique” new poetic work, TRUMP RANT (2021), written between January 2017 and Election Day 2020.

“A cross between Allen Ginsberg’s Howl  and Wittgenstein.” 

– William Crawley, BBC Journalist and Presenter of “Sunday”

“What a profusion of insults and vituperation, what a cornucopia of abuse, reproach, contempt, disgust and political and psychological analysis. What an abundance of inventiveness and unfailing imagination and versatility. I am reminded of the copious, imaginative and colourful execration one finds in Shakespeare. Agee’s rant could only have been done by a poet with authentic delight in language and a proper poet’s audacity. It has a poet’s command of cultural allusions too. Altogether this little book of outrage is splendid.” –  Chris Preddle

 “Caustically humorous and polemically compulsive, Trump Rant is a work of meticulous political portraiture: a deep-delving and epoch-spanning investigation into the nature of power in American life, made luminous by Agee’s nuanced, exploratory understanding of authoritarian drift and thwarted democratic aspiration in a number of world-historical contexts, from Belfast to the Balkans to the formerly Confederate South. Free-roaming in its breadth of reference and tonal range, the Rant is at once viscerally personal and unsettlingly resonant, infused throughout with an almost hypnotic sense of scale, largesse, and historical moment. 
The result is a combination of long-form radicalism and eclectic satire, startingly unique in its blend of aphorism, acuity and epic cultural imagining. Composed chronologically for nearly four years (from early 2017 until Election Day 2020), Trump Rant is a triumph of artistic witness and denunciation; an urgent retort to a global culture of imperilled legal standards and depleted literary response; and an incisive model of enlightenment and outrage in a post-truth’ world being visibly darkened by its criminal shadows.” Ciarán O’Rourke, poet