My novel in verse, Ice, will be republished by Liquorice Fish Books, an imprint of Cinnamon Press, in April 2024. You can pre-order a copy on Cinnamon’s website.
Set in a future that may not be too distant, the ice caps have melted and the Atlantic Conveyor of warm water from the tropics to the North Atlantic has collapsed, plunging North America and Europe into a new ice age.
Famine, death and conflict stalk the frozen continents, but in the city-state of Banda, one Assault Corps lieutenant questions the totalitarian regime, making himself vulnerable just as he meets and falls in love with Galathea, the embodiment of warmth and beauty absent from their society. As they begin to explore the forbidden past together, Banda braces for the next attack…
Ambitious and prophetic, this new edition of John Barnie’s verse novel, Ice, is increasingly urgent as scientist’s debate the possible catastrophe that global warming and human intransigence threaten to unleash. And in the midst of disaster, it asks what it means to be human and how or whether we can retain humanity in the most extreme of circumstances. Powerful and lyrical, Ice chills to the heart, yet there is beauty here, and love, if only humanity will choose it.
Ice is a global warning, a chilling prediction of the fate of humanity should we continue abusing the earth at the current rate.
Claire Powell, Poetry Wales.
If the poem is trying to tell us anything, it is that we invite in Death (which achieves an almost medieval personification in the poem), not Life when we violate our contract with nature and bury our natural human impulses under a layer of self-generated permafrost. It’s an argument with which we may be familiar but this beautifully realised poetic fable clinches it with the resources of a poet who has achieved his most impressive piece of work so far.
Nicholas Murray, New Welsh Review.