The Animal Library marks the debut of a remarkable poet a poet of the flesh, his own and that of the animals he has lived with all his life, whether real or imaginary. Jason Camlots father was a furrier and he grew up in a world where, inevitably, baby fur gets in your eyes or in your mouth. In dreams, the poet becomes a whale corpse washed up/ on a very pale beach/ and hundreds of flies came,/ and people,/ to see the tusk,/ spun like coral glass. And as the boy grows up, images, at once curiously literal and yet surreal images of being devoured or skinned alive stay with him. The beauty of this collection is one of the mot juste, a concreteness and precision, coupled with a superb sense of rhythm.
...Camlots graphic exactness adds to the power of his vivid, animated images.
...Camlots style is rich and telling, taking us from smutty Chicago to ancient Greece, from the 19th century Decadents to modern biological polemics.