The poems and non-fiction collected in Sputnik’s Cousin rinse, relent and tumble in the slipstream of modernity. The indefatigable nature of objects – how they reverberate in the proximity of others and become polished from anachronistic histories retold – hum a progress charged by humanity’s witless pursuit of technology and civility. MacCarter’s poetry is a menagerie of Rube Goldberg contraptions; invoking idiom, definition, and refraction while harnessing the slope, speed and gravity of language to set in motion these absurdist machines. A light switch is turned off, but not by means of a flick: it took fracking in Russia, the building of a sand castle and a monastic jeep to do so. These are maximalist poems whose syntax is coerced through yoga … poems of humour, warning and visceral sound.
‘This man can squeeze the toxic juices from the shredded rinds of time like no-one else, so you’d better get into the stellar industrial-monkey that is Sputnik’s Cousin.’ – Justin Clemens, author of The Mundiad and Villain .
‘Why not pick and trick MacCarter’s own words from his poems so they describe what he’s achieved with this great rockyroadcake of a book? Bypassing fidgets and the bore of disambiguation // chockers with references, wry quips and scratch’n’sniff stickers // the Michigan Under-10s Regional Kite Flying Champion spooks your cookies like a gymnast nailing her landing. The author is more modest than this, but his words do not lie. ‘ – Ross Gibson, author of Seven Versions of an Australian Badland and The Summer Exercises.