A PBS Recommendation, Summer 2023
Praise for the book
"Adam's poems are playful, revolutionary, gaudy when he wants them to be. They're defiant lipstick-smeared emblems of a state of living, and loving, in which we can have some goddamned pride." Shivanee Ramlochan
"Lowe leads us eloquently through back alleys, back rooms and beyond in this poetic proving of gossip's potential to convey the complexities of human experience. Unabashed and liberated of shame, they bare their joy, pain and desire in all its commingled glory. Playful, powerful, and always honest. A necessary voice that can’t help but be heard in its reading!" Cheddar Gorgeous
"Effervescent with verbal velocity, buzzing with innuendo and insight, often pithy, sometimes poignant, Patterflash is a lovesong to language. Adam Lowe switches brilliantly between registers, from Polari to Yorkshire vernacular to everything in between. The effect is thrilling. This unique debut demands a standing ovation. I loved it!" Patience Agbabi
"wicked and full of resistance . . . these poems are liberating" Roy McFarlane
"A collection of ecstatic queer hymns that walk us through Leeds, through Manchester, with the unique language of being young and queer in the north" Andrew McMillan
"His verse is acrobatic and winking . . . Lowe celebrates acts of protest, whilst attending to the insidious pressures of living as a queer, mixed-race person within an authoritarian climate . . . In the face of it all, these poems rollick across the page, offering elation in their very being." Annie Hayter, The Big Issue
"Patterflash by Adam Lowe displays the poet’s versatility, energy and astute powers of observation" Will Mackie, New Writing North
About the book
Patterflash embraces the performative, self-ironising aesthetic of campness but, as a mask, it is a complex and very malleable one, capable of showing features of tenderness, bravery, righteous anger and sometimes sadness and alarm – as well as the comedic. Within a collection that displays an engaging variety of language registers, both ‘high’ and ‘low’ in tone, the masking sometimes makes use of Polari, the gay street language that simultaneously reveals and conceals, excludes and invites, estranges and makes familiar. The collection connects the poet as a wry, humane observer of the scene, particularly as conducted in Manchester, and the persona of “Adam Lowe” as both actor in and narrator of his own dramas, who performs, exults and sometimes suffers in a wide range of guises and disguises. What unites them is the urge to embrace the possibilities of being exactly who you want to be whatever the complications or consequences of your choice. From the four-year-old boy who, though always easy inhis mixedness of race, also wants to wear a blonde woman’s wig without any angst of self-contradiction, through the poems delighting in the frank physicality of gay sex, to the mature man experiencing domestic contentment, Adam Lowe takes us on a journey rich in observation and always in a poetry that makes an art of patterflash.
Photography and front cover design by Lee Baxter baxterphoto.co.uk
Adam will be at Polari in Manchester on 9 November 2023.
Adam will also be at the National Black & Asian Writers Conference at Hack in Oldham on 18 November 2023. He will take part in a panel at 12.15pm and will launch his book at lunchtime.