Manchester Met University poet Andrew McMillan’s second poetry collection playtime has been released, examining how childhood and early adolescence shape our adult identities.
playtime is the follow-up to McMillan’s award-winning 2015 debut collection physical and is published by Jonathan Cape.
In playtime’s intimate, sometimes painfully frank poems, he describes the ways that our early lives influence how we grow into our sexual selves as adults.
Examining our teenage rites of passage and the dilemmas and traumas that shape us – eating disorders, masturbation, loss of virginity – the poet examines how we use our bodies, both our own and other people’s, to chart our progress towards selfhood.
Alongside poems in praise of the naivety of youth, there are those that explore the troubling intersections of violence, masculinity, class and sexuality.
The poet joined Manchester Metropolitan in 2017, two years after the publication of physical, which was the first poetry collection to win the Guardian First Book Award. It also won an Eric Gregory Award, a Northern Writers’ Award and the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize.