PJ Harvey To Publish Book-Length Poem, ‘Orlam’

Six years in the making, Harvey composed it in the Dorset dialect

PJ Harvey is publishing a new book-length narrative poem, called Orlam.

Available from April, the poem has been six years in the making and is composed in the Dorset dialect. It’s set in a magical realist version of Harvey’s native West Country, and a page-by-page English translation will be included in the book. A special edition of the book illustrated by Harvey is set to follow the original April release.

The Scottish poet Don Paterson, who edited the book, said in a statement: "Orlam not only breaks new ground as a long poem – it brings an entire dialect back to life from the edge of its own extinction, and reminds us how radically the world is altered by how we speak of it."

Harvey added: "Having spent six years working on Orlam with my friend, mentor and editor Don Paterson, I am very happy to publish this book of poetry with Picador. Picador feels absolutely the right home for it, and it’s an honour to be in the company of poets like Jacob Polley, Denise Riley and Carol Ann Duffy."

In the coming months, Harvey’s reissue series of her albums will also continue, with Let England Shake and Let England Shake – Demos coming on January 28 and her most recent studio album, 2016’s The Hope Demolition Six Project, due on March 11, alongside an accompanying set of demos.

Picador Poetry will publish Orlam on April 28, 2022.

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