How rare it is to read a body of work like this, ASTROPOLIS by Astra Papachristodoulou, whose vocabulary, whose technique, whose innovation holds its nerve, and evokes our time now, which is always the future. As beautiful and visually striking as it is linguistically alive, this is a collection of neo-futurist poetic songs from one of Europe’s most interesting young poets.’
We’re delighted to be publishing the 2nd edition of Astropolis in 2020, specially expanded to include Astra’s Neo-Futurist Manifesto & essay on Neo-Futurist Poetics, both of which set this ground-breaking collection firmly in context in the 21st century.
Here are the notes on the SOLD OUT first edition:
Astropolis (HVTN Press, 2018)
In it, a cityscape is transcribed, one that thought to move toward responsible and sustainable architecture but all too late. Marble or glass or metal or timber veined these songs formally mark that which is presumed gone and left behind. Papachristodoulou's human touch is a deft one found in that which is not noted, or in that which is noted via negativa, in that which the reader, you, are left to mourn before your time.
'Poetry looks over its shoulder because the future stares back. It comes in languages we don’t yet speak, it comes clothed in the armour of complexity, of technology that might be escaping our grasp. How rare it is to read a body of work like this, Astropolis by Astra Papachristodoulou, whose vocabulary, whose technique, whose innovation holds its nerve, and evokes our time now, which is always the future. As beautiful and visually striking as it is linguistically alive, this is a collection of neo-futurist poetic songs from one of Europe’s most interesting young poets.’ - Steven J Fowler
'Astropolis is a dark star, a shapeshifter of a collection. It flits from Bowie to Monáe, sci-fi concept album to gallery, city plan to arcade, all the while exploding forms in order to poke about in their cogs. Papachristodoulou does not provide a map to Astropolis, but leaves clues for the reader in ancient letters, ludic signs and glimpses of figures known as astronoids. Bold, interactive and completely compelling - a lost world in a book.’ - Kirsten Irving
'Labelling Astropolis ‘futuristic’ would be facile and redundant, the collection has landed on our planet so far ahead of its time it may well have spun out of a supermassive black hole or been dropped off by a heavily disguised astronoid in a time machine. Astropolis is a fresh, compelling collection with the neon bright promise of a new world to explore.' - Charlie Baylis (read full review here)
'The poems are characterized by a rather concise speech and rhythm that, in the interplay of ideas, references and images, form a unique reading experience.' - Muanis Sinanović (recorded review at Slovenian Radio Student FM 89.3 here)
'You must read Astropolis by Astra Papachristodoulou. A journey to and through the (un)real city of green architecture & lightsaber walkways. The book’s spirit of discovery & unpretentious innovation reminds me of Apollinaire.' - James Knight
Astra Papachristodoulou is a recent graduate from the MA Creative Writing (Poetic Practice) at Royal Holloway with focus in experimental writing and the neo-futurist tradition across poetry, visual art and performance. She has read at poetry events including the Poem Brut project, the European Poetry Festival and The Enemies Project. Her poetry has appeared in small magazines and anthologies including The Tangerine, Eborakon Journal and 3:am Magazine. Astra currently delivers experimental poetry workshops at the University for the Creative Arts and freelances for the Poetry Society. Astra is a co-founder of the artist association group ProArtè, which has curated several art exhibitions across the UK. She won the Pebeo Mixed Media Art Prize in 2016, and her visual work has been showcased at contemporary art exhibitions including the National Poetry Library (Southbank Centre) and the Museum of Futures in London. Her published books include Almost a Nightmare (Sampson Low 2017), Songs from Astropolis (HVTN Press 2018), Clockwork (Ampersand Publishing 2018) & Almost a Dream (Sampson Low 2019).